tragically beautiful

This morning he woke up over an hour early calling out.

The phone had just rung letting me know of a power outage.  No work today.

He called out again.

Instead of Cort getting up yet again, I lumbered down the stairs to his dark room.

He was still sleeping, but fitfully.

I knew I could probably leave him and go back to my own bed, but something held me there.

I carefully maneuvered around him and wedged myself up against the wall.

As silently as I could, I layered Mickey Mouse on top of a camel and rested my head.

He flipped and he flopped.

It suddenly became clear that the problem was his stuffy nose.  He would hold his breath to suck on his pipey and then gasp for breath behind it.

Eventually he spit the pipey out, rolled toward me, and rested his hands around my wrist.

He started to breath easier through his mouth, so I closed my eyes.

Seconds went by as the memories of his sweet infant breath and his little fingers closing around mine warm my heart.

Minutes went by as that baby morphs into a toddler who falls asleep with his check pressed against my chest while I watch TV.

Suddenly, my eyes snapped open.

A little boy was looking at me.

“Hi mommy.  Daddy home?”

“Good morning, Eddie.  Yup.  Daddy is upstairs sleeping.”

“Let’s go get him, mommy.”

And he scrambled–all by himself–to turn on the lights and open his door and go up the stairs to find his daddy.

Later that night at bedtime he asked me when Baby Charlie will come out of my tummy.

“Soon,” I whispered to him in the dark of his room.

“I help you mommy.  I help Baby Charlie.  Ok?”

“I would love that, buddy.  I would.”

“I big brother.  Baby Charlie baby brother.  I help.”

I bent one last time to hug him, tousle his blond curls, and kiss his chubby cheek.

This mothering thing…

It’s having your heart filled and broken at the exact same moment.

It’s being sad while feeling a joy that nothing else can bring.

It’s holding someone tight while teaching them to let go.

It’s the most tragically beautiful thing I have ever decided to do with my life.


One more day to enter my giveaway.