This morning my little cherub fell asleep at my breast after a lengthy feed, which was not necessarily unusual. I shifted his small (although bigger than most in his age-group), swaddled body so he was resting in both of my arms, his heavy breathing starting to become more audible due to yet another cold he was suffering from.
I had been too tired to pump when he woke up to be fed earlier this morning, and my husband had graciously given him a bottle around 1:30, so I was already behind with that today. I was still desperate to replenish my breast milk stash as my return to work was painfully imminent, but I suppose my darling is trying to get into the habit of waking with the babe since he will become primary caretaker. In addition to that the laundry needed to be changed over from two days ago, the sink was full of dishes, thank you cards still needed to be written from the baby’s party back in August and a slew of other domestic chores that seemed to never get caught up were on the list of things to do in the half hour my little one napped.
I sighed, but as I prepared to lift us out of the glider and walk him down the hall towards his bassinet, I looked down at him and stopped. I admired his chubby, rose tinted cheeks, his light colored thinning hair, and even the small, fading red spot below his mouth where the cat had scratched him two nights ago.
The ugly truth shone bright on his sleeping, half smiling face: that these are the sweetest, most precious moments of his short life so far, and they had indeed gone by faster than I ever thought possible, just as I had been warned by everyone I had met since giving birth.
In exactly one week I’ll be back in my office, quietly packing up my breast pump and trying not to let the tears stream openly down my anxious face I’m front of my coworkers and clients. I’ll be awkwardly trying to pump in a vacant office while staring at pictures and videos of my sweetheart on my phone, desperately wishing I was holding him just like this. I’ll be begging my husband for updates about our baby’s day via text instead of being the one to send the information first.
I leaned back and closed my eyes, focused on his loud, rhythmic breathing. The chores will always be there, but these small, every day opportunities I have been taking for granted will not.