It had been a long week.
The demands of regular life, work, and motherhood had been compounded by additional requirements, unreasonably high expectations and the resulting disappointments, illness, social engagements, guest preparations, and insomnia. While each individual task appeared feasible on its own, together it became insurmountable. Impossible, even.
So by the time Thursday night* rolled around, it had been a long week. It would continue to be so.
I opened my apartment door seventeen hours after I had closed it behind me that morning. I was pleasantly exhausted and well socialized. My mind was in overdrive. 1AM and I was still trying to get things done. Business email, sent. Laundry folded. Clothes put away. Morning loomed closer and my exhausted body just wanted to collapse into bed, my eyes wanted to close. My day needed to end.
But there was so much to do.
I picked the pile of clothes that had been folded by the dim light wafting in from the hallway. Miniature clothes, for my son, ready to be worn and played in. A new outfit for each brand new exciting day that he would face. Each article of clothing a new adventure waiting to happen.
My arms full of fresh linen, I pushed open the door to my son’s room, prepared to put the clothes in a neat pile by his dresser (they are less likely to be disturbed if they are beside his dresser as opposed to in a drawer). My mind was racing a thousand miles a minute wondering if I could get anything else done before my body collapsed in utter exhaustion.
As I entered the nursery, everything changed.
There is something about that space that is the antithesis to everything filled my mind. When I walked into that room – the place my son slept – quiet and stillness and peace and love filled my being. There, undaunted by the energy I had so abruptly brought into the room, was my slumbering baby boy.
I unburdened myself and walked over to the crib. I stared down at this precious little person that I had not seen since I dropped him off at daycare, seventeen hours ago. A whole day had passed since I had been with him, a whole day that I shared no part with him. I accomplished so much and yet, as I looked down upon my son, my heart longed for this lost day.
My hand traced the outline of his back, fingered his curls and rest upon his lungs. In and out. In and out. A metronome for a new mindset. A more focused, peaceful, motherly mindset. I drank in this beautiful little boy while he dreamed. More than anything, I wanted to pause this moment. I wanted to take back those past seventeen hours and just be his Mom instead. I wanted to climb in beside him and curl my body around him and be that being that he used to so desperately depended upon.
I tiptoed out of the room, whispering Mommy loves you, Cameron. Mommy loves you so much. until the door gently closed behind me. No longer was I worried about the things that needed to get done or the following day’s schedule. I crawled into bed, wrapped my arms around my husband and closed my eyes.
Him. That is what matters. My boys. The two beings I love most sleeping under this shared little roof. Slumbering soundly in that negative space between two busy days. Quiet except for the breaths.
In and Out. In and Out.