Every night it is the same. After teeth are brushed and good night kisses are doled out to the rest of the family, Graham and I sneak down to his room for our time. I turn his sound machine on and quietly whisper “lay on mama,” and he gladly complies and lays his head pressed into the crook of my neck, the place it seems, like many parts of my body, that has been created for his particular needs. I feel his steady, slowly deepening breath tickling my skin and the tiny movements of his hand on my back, somehow saying through his skin that he needs this time just as much as I do.
I know, because I’ve done this whole thing before, that I won’t know when it will be the last time we do this little dance. That one day he will wiggle from my arms and crawl into his bed by himself, and that will be that. So this time around I hold on as tightly as I can, and I slow down time all around me and let the things waiting for me to do upstairs, wait. I know he is my last baby, the last one who will press his body against mine as he slowly gives in to sleep. It is a blessing to know that when your children are babies each moment is fleeting. It means you get to enjoy them more readily, cherish them more deeply, and take the time to remember the little details that make the memories that will one day make up the whole of your life.