For just a few moments tonight I’m not thinking about work, or doing the dishes, about putting out the garbage or if the dog’s been walked. I’m just focused on the way his face fits perfectly into my neck, his weight settled gently on my chest, his small arm locked around my neck. There’s probably snot and drool dripping down on me, but I just close my eyes, humming idly still as the rocking chair sways, both of us breathing in and out in the dark, both tired, but we need each other – he needs my comfort and I need his trusting, soft body snuggled onto mine to make him feel better.
If I could I would keep him attached to me always, but I understand that the older he gets, the more he can run, climb, and play, and a happy running into your arms hug is a precious thing. So too, are these moments, few and far between, when he’s not feeling well and just wants to be soothed and rocked and lulled towards sleep and it’s something I can do better than anyone else in the world.
Afterwards, I did some laundry. Changed a lightbulb, and put some soup on the stove to calm my gnawing stomach. Checked email. Then as I brought a basketful of clothes up to pour all over the bed, I decided to check in on him, too. He hadn’t moved, was still snoring, but was slick with sweat. So I decided to take off his fleece pajama pants and accidentally woke him up.
Back to the rocking chair. Rookie mistake.
We’ve been lucky that Baby J hasn’t been sick too often. A handful of colds and tummy bugs, foot and mouth disease a few months ago. It seems to be cold season though and we’re joining the rest with our sore throats and runny noses. I wish I could take away his discomfort and make him understand that the dryness in his mouth is temporary, that he’ll breathe freely again soon, but in the meantime all I can do is rock and hug, and enjoy being needed just a little bit.