The most amazing thing happened today.
I was sitting in a chair with Mason plopped on my lap. His fat little legs were solidly placed and I had my hands on his waist, helping him stay steady. He loves to practice sitting up, but this afternoon he was particularly pleased with himself.
He looked up at me from his perch and his little blue eyes sparkled. His chubby little cheeks lifted, and his lips curled in to his crooked smile. I smiled right back, caught up in his happiness. He was just so proud. He looked down for a moment and then looked back up again, still grinning from ear to ear. I smiled again, cooing at him and told him how much I loved him. And in that moment, as the words left my lips, he placed his little hands on either side of my face and looked right in to my eyes.
And I knew. I knew – in that moment and forever – that he loved me too.
Sure, a few seconds later he pinched the crap out of my cheeks, squishing my skin between his fingers. But I didn’t care. Heck, pinching is nothing new; my entire body is his everything. I am his food, his shelter, and his comfort. I am his ladder and his rock. I am a pillow, a chair, and yes – sometimes – the perfect toy for grasping.
By the end of the day, I feel all used up. My body is bone tired and my eyes burn and the thought of another sleepless night makes me a little bit weepy. But I’m never empty. I may be well worn, but I’m incredibly full. In fact, I have never felt so full in my entire life.
I am filled to the brim with love. For Mason. For Parrish. For the entire village that it takes to raise a baby. I am overflowing with gratitude and thanksgiving, and constantly counting my blessings out loud.
And yes, it’s hard. It’s so very hard. It’s take-a-deep-breath and choke back the tears hard.
But mostly it’s amazing.
I don’t dwell on the fussy mornings or my foggy brain. I don’t count how many times I’ve been spit up on, partly because I’d lose count but mostly because it doesn’t matter.
Although, can we just pause for a moment and talk about how babies have a real knack for spitting up right down your shirt and in to your nursing bra? And it’s always your last clean nursing bra – well, as clean as it can be seeing as how the baby did the exact same thing a couple of hours ago and you can’t remember if this is the same bra or a different one….
But seriously, it doesn’t matter. Not to me.
Because today I gave him all of my love for the millionth time over since his conception, and he gave it right back to me.
Two little hands holding my face, and I felt it. This tiny baby loves me.