So, what did he teach me?
Well, this little boy reaches out through his crib with his chubby little fingers and pinches my nose with his sharp baby nails every night when I’m tucking him in. And neither one of us wanna let go. So I say “I love you” another eight times and he giggles after each one. And I linger right there on my tired knees whispering to him until his eyes finally blink closed for the last time. (Until he needs to eat again in two hours or so at least.) And the tears pour. Almost every single night. Usually happy tears that this boy has been here with us for eight whole months and that seems far too long when I marked his brother’s time with us in about as many hours. But it seems so short and not even close to enough.
Sometimes sad tears because every time Chaniel does something new I realize something else I missed of Kyle.
Then I head upstairs where his sisters lay and ask me to sleep with them for a few minutes. So I do. Sometimes I really sleep. Sometimes I send emails. Sometimes I pray. Listening to them breathe. Or snore.
Then I remember that I forgot to turn Chaniel’s CD on repeat, so I head down to do that – just as he realizes his music has ended and wakes up again. So I pick him up and rock him to sleep. He goes fast this time. His head heavy on my shoulder. His little arm roly poly across my chest. The stillest he is these days is that time in the rocking chair.
“Don’t rock that baby to sleep!” – well-meaning advice I used to get from friends. Oh how I wished I hadn’t listened as diligently to that piece with our girls. But I didn’t know then. I envy the mothers who know what I know without having to lose a child. That babies aren’t babies forever. And sometimes you don’t get to rock them more than once. So every. single. moment. is big. It’s huge. And the house and the friends and the big career plans or the big blogging plans or the big whatever plans can and will happen later. I know this because I was there where the big plans were starting to happen again. With our 6 and 8 year old self sufficient girls before Chaniel came and turned everything-including-the-laundry-basket upside down.
But this moment is gone like a vapor. So I breathe it in deep.
That’s what Kyle taught me.
And now I rock my kids. Even the bigger ones.
And I don’t regret a single second of it.
That’s what Kyle did to me.
He still wakes up every 3 hours or so to eat. That’s pretty normal for a breastfed baby. But not everyone knows that. And that’s ok. It’s ok even if it’s not normal. Because while I would be so devastatingly discouraged when our girls didn’t sleep at night…with Chaniel? It’s ok. He snuggles up right next to me and eats away without even opening his eyes. He reaches out for me from his dad’s arms in the dead of night and finds me – knowing I’ll be there to catch him. And I’m so very tired. But it’s ok. Nights are some of my favorite times. Because it’s so quiet and I only have one little person to make happy. I haven’t slept more than 4 hours straight since month 6 of the pregnancy – pretty much a year ago – and I’m ok with it. Because I know what it’s like to wish more than anything that our baby would wake me up.
That’s what Kyle taught me.
This baby has healed our heart, yes. It’s also reopened so much grieving for us – maybe in a better healing sort of way. Because we think of what we miss always – but we also see what we have – and to us – all of us – this little rainbow baby makes our hearts soar every single day.
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