Saturday, May 9, 2015

I Wake to My Son in the Morning

He lifts his head slowly, deliberately, delicately—the way a flower bud opens. His face glows with the warm butterscotch of the morning sunrise, and his eyelids are still weighted with sleep, the slightest sliver of hazel visible beneath his feathered lashes. When he turns his head toward mine, I see it, spanned across his cheek like a blushing butterfly: the soft impression of my hand.

The image warms my heart the way the rising sun that peeks through the curtains warms my skin: progressively, wholly, inevitably. I think back to last night, when he called out for me at two in the morning and insisted I crawl into bed with him. I curled up next to his miniscule body and felt the heat emanating from his slightly damp skin, moonlight illuminating the tiny beads of sweat on his nose, making them sparkle like diamonds.

I was tired and had been eager for a night of solid, solitary sleep. So I kissed the top of his head, wiped the glistening droplets from the slope of his nose, whispered “I love you” into his ear, and gave his delicate hand a little squeeze, intending to sneak back to the comfort (and roominess) of my own bed once he fell asleep.

But after he’d returned the gentle pulse of my hand, he pulled it to his face—sliding it in the tiny space between the mattress and his head—and nestled his cheek in the concavity of my open palm.

So I stayed.

We slept that way for the rest of the night: my hand a pillow for his cheek, a thin film of sweat forming where his skin met mine. I cupped his dreams in the palm of my hand and lost myself in the serenity of his peaceful slumber. He welcomed me into his private night world, looping his arm through mine like a pretzel, leaving the tender skin inside of our elbows kissing while we drifted off to the sounds of each other’s breathing.

When I finally woke, it was to a gentle tingling in my hand, as if the whorls on my fingertips had been electrified by the spark of his touch.

I look at him now as he continues to stir in the soft morning light. I study his tiny features: the button nose he inherited from me, his pouty little lips, the classic raised brows and disheveled hair. He is dazed, sweaty, and has a slightly wild look about him. He is perfect. He is mine.

We hear the high pitched sounds of birds greeting the morning, their chirps filtering in through the slitted blinds in measured intervals, alongside the light. His eyes widen, the glow of the sun reflected in their perfect roundness, and he smiles as he chirps back.

As I return my gaze to that tender imprint of my hand on his cheek, I can see it begin to fade, and I know it pales in comparison to the one he’s left on my heart.

And today, there is something greater than the morning sun dawning on me:

I have so much to be grateful for.

Because I am a mom.

Maybe Mother’s Day is just spring’s version of Thanksgiving.

Our first Mother's Day together.
Thanksgiving 2014

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