My Dear First Born,
You, poor thing, have had a lingering cough that keeps you up at night. Usually you handle it just fine, but around one this morning you were a little upset after a coughing spell. I decided it would be best for me to check on you and bring you some water. You refused the water and simply wanted me to hold you. I sat with you in our rocking chair far longer than necessary. You took advantage and fell asleep on me. I couldn't help but notice how much you seemed like a newborn again (albeit a very large newborn). Your head was tucked under my chin. Your legs were bent into the frog position. Your little hands were clenching and unclenching involuntarily. And I felt you get heavier and heavier as you slipped deeper into sleep. That has always been one of my favorite feelings in the world - the weight of a sleeping babe on my chest. Eventually I knew I should put you back into your crib. When I stood up, your eyes fluttered opened and looked at me. I stood and bounced you back to sleep. Do you know how long it's been since I was able to bounce you back to sleep? It works great on 6 month olds, but not so well with 19 month toddlers. Yet tonight, you allowed me one last baby moment with you. One last time for me to bounce my sole baby to sleep.
Soon your baby sister will join us and you will have to be a kind and understanding toddler who shares your mama. I hope you don't think I love you any less when I have to divide my time and attention. And I hope you know that we will always have a special bond because you made me into a mama.
As I laid you down in your crib, you didn't roll into a new position or readjust yourself like usual. You simply stayed asleep right where I put you, as if you were still my swaddled newborn. I stayed a little longer and stared at your peaceful sleeping face. This over-quoted book popped into my head as I slipped out into the hall: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
Thanks you for being my baby one last night. I'll try not to take it as an omen that baby sister will be joining us in the next 24 hours.