Sunday, July 29, 2007

Breathe

It started very innocently the night you were born. I stayed up all night watching you sleep, afraid that if I looked away for a single minute, you would simply cease to be. Then, when we brought you home, I couldn't pass by the bassinet on my way to bed without stopping to make sure the swaddling wasn't too close to your face. During those first four months, I grew accustomed to falling asleep to the tune of your snorts and snuffs.

It was strange when we finally moved you into the nursery. Only two doors away, and yet the distance seemed so much further. I was happy to reclaim my bedroom, yet unsure of how to deal with the separation. So each night, before I went to bed, I would sneak into your room to reassure myself that all was well. Desperate not to wake you, I would navigate the creaky floorboards with my heart in my throat. Not breathing. Afraid to sneeze. Sure you would hear the thump in my breast and the blood rushing through my veins. I'd crouch down beside the crib like some crazy game of peek-a-boo and listen to you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Then I could breathe again, and move to the door. Sometimes you'd sigh, and I'd freeze. Listen. Breathe in. Breath out. And I would creep quietly out the door.

Since then, I've stretched that invisible cord between us. I can go away for a day, or a night, and you are fine without me. But it wasn't until this weekend, when you jumped into Nana's car with a cheerful wave and nary a backwards glance, that it hit me how far you've come since those early days. I thought I would be happy to have the house to myself, time to myself, to do what I want, when I want. And to be honest, I was. I would be again. But this time I would know what I was missing.

The house would be blissfully quiet at last. But I would miss your exuberant renditions of Five Little Ducks and Mister Golden Sun. And the seventeenth time you asked: "Whaddya doin'?". And the twentieth time you asked: "Where Daddy is?" And your laughter. And your dinosaur growls.

I would be completely unencumbered with baby or gear. But I would miss your unprompted hugs when I pretend to be sad. And the weight of your head in the crook of my neck when you tire. And the legs wrapped tightly around my waist. And the weight of your body in my arms as you give yourself over to sleep.

I could make as much noise as I want without fear of waking you. But I would miss the unconscious avoidance of the creaky floorboard outside your bedroom door. And the knowledge that you're sleeping peacefully behind that closed door. And your sweet breath, in and out.

What I would be missing is you. I will stop by your room tonight before I go to bed, and listen to you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Because when you breath, the house breathes with you. And so do I.

14 comments:

Susanne said...

Ah. So sweet. And it is really weird: When my son is around me I crave silence and quiet time, and when he is away I wait for his return. And I have to call him every day though he almost never wants to talk to me. Always too busy.

So there are two best parts about this. When he is away and I can really enjoy the time I have been longing for, and when he comes back and I enjoy his presence without feeling irritated by the constant noise.

Great post. Very poetic.

kgirl said...

So sweet.

Except for a week away in June, I have never slept in a room without Bee, but I still can't resist looking (or listening) in on her throughout the evening.

Kyla said...

So sweet, so true. I loved this post, Nomo.

Bon said...

sniff.

and i know exactly what you mean. what a lovely post.

Mimi said...

Aw. What a beautiful post. This feels very real to me, and it's all so simply, cleanly, heartrendingly expressed. Lucky boy to have you for a mom ...

motherbumper said...

I get it... beautiful NME

kittenpie said...

This was BEAUTIFUL. So true, so sweet. Sigh.

Rach the Bach said...

Hi! Found you from Beck's blog. Oh my gosh, you are hitting home with me! I used to wait breathlessly for my baby to breathe. And I'd sit by his crib, exhausted but content, listing to him breathe and watching him sleep. I'm still working on the part where I can be away from him more than a day. I crave hearing the gentle breath and watching the slow rising and falling of his chest when he sleeps...you are so right.

b*babbler said...

So beautifully put.

We only moved the Peanut to her own room in the last month, but it has been difficult for me. I find it almost hard that she's started to sleep through the night, as there is no excuse to bring her into bed with us.

ewe are here said...

Sweet post.

And I agree, our wee ones are so very lovely when they sleep, curled up in their unique way, amongst their stuffed bunnies and ducks.

It's always my last stop of the evening.

Jonathon Morgan said...

That was such a great post! I think part of me still feels that way whenever Edan isn't around...

Christine said...

do you know how wonderful this was? beautiful, beautiful.

i can still remember those tip toe moments to check those tiny babies.

cinnamon gurl said...

I can tell your son was/is a WAY better sleeper than mine. I have never once gone into his room to check on him (not that he sleeps in there much but more than he used to), except once when I was pretty sure he was going to get cold and I put a blanket on him -- very nervously. All my memories of him sleeping peacefully as a newborn and me stressing over those little gaps in breath are of him either in my arms or my bed.

Sweet, sweet post.

Mad Hatter said...

don't know how I missed this no-mo. It is beautiful.