Last night, my son had a rough night. Tossing, turning, and coughing all night with a fever, we were sure he was going to puke at any moment. I slept in his room with him on the bed. Or rather, I half-slept, as a parent does when his child is sick and coughing every few minutes, and you have to stay half-awake so that he doesn't roll off the bed or something. He had a particularly difficult time sleeping around 3:30am, and ended up completely waking up.
So around 4:00am, I'm sitting on the living room floor with him as he's playing with a little cart full of wooden blocks, and I'm so tired I can barely see straight. But even then, I'm watching him and thinking, dang, this kid is a joy.
It's a bittersweet feeling, though, because in the middle of the night, you're not distracted by daily chores and day-to-day concerns. There's just the gulf of time stretching out in front of you, and you unable to filter out that nagging thought that's always in the back of your mind - that not too long from now, he's going to be sleeping in his bed instead of his crib, then dressing himself, then wanting to be with his friends instead of his mommy and daddy, then dating. Yikes. And then, he'll be moving out of the house and embarking on his own separate life.
My son's not even two yet, and I miss him already. I sat there rocking him back to sleep, his eyes drowsing as he sucked down the Pedialyte out of the bottle. He likes stroking my arm with his fingers, and doing little baby-pinches to my neck and face, as he falls asleep. And even as I'm holding him, I'm already missing being able to hold him like that, because I know that all too soon, I won't be able to. He'll become a different person, older, able to get himself to sleep and eventually not wanting to spend much time with his daddy, and my little boo will be lost to me forever.
Gotta go. My son just coughed himself awake. Time to hold him.