A few weeks ago, we started transitioning Jameson into his own room at night. We’ve been co-sleeping up until this point and I’m honestly so thankful for the time we got to spend together each night, snuggled up with his sweet, sleepy body between the two of us. But his four month sleep regression is hitting hard and we knew it was time to start adjusting him to sleeping in his crib.
I sobbed the first night he wasn’t with us. Of course, Jameson was absolutely fine sleeping by himself…but I wasn’t fine sleeping without him. My whole heart ached not having him within arm’s reach, not being close enough to swoop up and hold close at a moment’s notice. In reality, he was just down the hall and we could watch him comfortably on the video monitor but I still felt this odd, tremendous loss that night.
Then, suddenly, I knew exactly what it was. What was truly breaking my heart was the realization that there is a last time for everything with your babies, and most of the time you have no idea when it will come. At four months old, Jameson has already had plenty of “last times” for plenty of things…there was a last time that we swaddled him, a last time his cry sounded like a newborn’s, a last time he stretched in my favorite way. The change is gradual and you don’t always realize it’s happened until you stop and think, “When was the last time he needed my help for sitting up?”
Of course, all these changes aren’t complete losses. Things fade away to make way for other exciting things, like Jameson learning to roll or how to grab toys he wants or how to make fun new sounds. Suddenly you have twenty more things to be proud of your baby for. But still, deep down, you long for those things that faded away and wish you could have just one more chance to enjoy them.
Someday (hopefully a long time from now) there will be a last time that I get to hold Jameson. There will be a last time he comes to me asking to play. There will be a last time I help him with school work, a last time for kissing his scraped knees, a last time he’ll want me to hug his tears away. Someday all my favorite parts of his childhood will be only memories and it’s impossible to say exactly when it will happen.
I guess that’s what makes parenthood so special and compelling and beautiful, though. You just never know if this is the last time your sweet, sleepy baby will want to snuggle in your arms. Each moment is precious and each moment is fleeting.
So today I’m going to scoop my son up a few extra times. I’m going to kiss his little fuzzy head a bit more often and try a little harder to make him giggle. I’m going to rock him until my bones ache, sing to him until I have no more voice, fill up my lungs with his ever-fading baby scent, and…when he finally falls asleep in my arms and breathes a deep sigh of contentment, my soul will do the same.
Someday there will be a last time for all these sweet and simple moments. But today he is still small, and I still have just a bit more time to revel in the very precious blessing of being a mother.