Sometime in the wee hours today, this face appeared beside me in bed:
Ok, so there was a bit more sleep in the eyes and bedhead in the hair, but there he was, snuggled next to me so warm and sweet smelling. The truth is, I think that kid smells sweet even when he's 3 days out from his last real bath. He's not a big fan of co-sleeping, unlike his big sister who would sleep tucked into the 'mama nest' (as my husband calls it) every night and nap if she had things her way. And usually, she does, but sometimes I need a night of kick-free sleep and a pillow all to myself. Plus, she and her daddy both snore and there are definitely nights when just the tenor is enough to handle, without the harmony created by her snoring next to me as well. He's more of a solo sleeper, preferring a few kisses and cuddles and then a bed all to himself, and he's been that way since he was about 4 months old. After he spent his early months napping and sleeping in my arms or beside me all the time, it was a tough transition for me to put him in his own space. But he is who he is, and sleeping alone is what he prefers.
Except that, recently? He's been waking early like this and wanting to snuggle. So I oblige every time, lifting his heavy sleepy body into my arms and burrowing back under a pile of blankets with him next to me. He has to be touching me when he sleeps this way, so his hand will grasp mine or he will life his face off the pillow and rest it on mine.
He's getting so big. It's unreal. He was laying in the crook of my arm, a little line of tummy exposed by his shirt riding up and his favorite brown and green PEACE blankie wrapped over and under his legs, and I couldn't help but notice that his feet were kicking pressed almost into my knees. When did that sweet boy I birthed just yesterday turn into this big toddler?
So I felt his body settle into my nest of pillows and blankets, and he fell instantly back to sleep all sweet, fat cheeks and baby heat radiating from him. I nuzzled into his hair and slept too.
And then, suddenly, I awoke to the distinct feeling of someone looking at me. Rolling over, I saw that face and smiled. "Hi!" he said with a voice blanketed in sleep. "Hi baby!" I said back, running the back of my hand over one rosy cheek and listening to the sound of my husband stepping into the shower. "Awake?" he asked. "Awake." I answered. He threw himself onto me in a bear hug and then climbed off the bed to join Daddy in the shower, and I lay there soaking in the warmth of my bed and the love for my boy.
I am awake.