Just for Tonight

It’s just before midnight, and I hear my two and a half year old Jacob stirring. I go into his room and re-settle him, sitting there for a minute as his breathing evens out. And then I tiptoe out of his room, ever so quietly. Crisis averted … or so I think.

No more than two minutes later I hear Jacob stirring again. This time he calls out a plaintive, “Mama, where you are?” I give in to the inevitable. I throw on my pajamas and join him in his room. Occasions like this are why I bought my son a double bed. I find him sitting up, bleary-eyed and confused. I ask him if he missed me, and he nods. Once I’m safely ensconced beside him, and he feels confident that I’m not about to leave him again, he falls back to sleep easily. I fall asleep easily, too.

Working on the track

I night-weaned Jacob some time ago, and I weaned him completely a few weeks. The last day that he breastfed was April 13. I felt good about the transition. I think we’re both ready to move on to other things. Jacob still asked to nurse for the first few days, but he was easily re-directed. Now he asks for a cuddle or a drink of water instead.

Unfortunately, closing down “Mom’s Dairy Bar” didn’t magically stop Jacob from waking up at night. But on this night, as I’m cuddled up with my toddler who is growing before my very eyes, I’m not at all put out. I don’t know how many more of these nights I have. Jacob’s big sister, Hannah, can’t sleep with me anymore. She says she wants to, but after a few minutes she complains that I’m taking up her space. I know that Jacob will reach that point, too.

Jacob helps me buy paint

Plus, I’ll be honest with you. Life with a two and a half year old isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are lots of tears and messes in my daily life. The other day Jacob squeezed himself under my neighbour’s fence when I let him out of the stroller on the daily walk home from kindergarten. Thank heavens it was right beside a gate I was able to use to retrieve him. This time at night, when my toddler is peaceful and quiet beside me, feeds my mother-soul. It’s a time when things are simple and I can solve everything just by being there.

Tonight, my baby still needs me. So I cuddle up to him and hold his soft little hand and try to memorize exactly what it feels like to be here, right now.

If you’re inclined, tell me about a moment with your children that you wanted to bottle up and keep forever.

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  1. Awe, what a nice post.

  2. >>Tonight, my baby still needs me. So I cuddle up to him and hold his soft little hand and try to memorize exactly what it feels like to be here, right now.

    Deep, love-filled sigh. These moments are so fleeting, and time moves too quickly, dang it.
    kelly @kellynaturally’s last post … Striving for Peace Amidst the Celebration of WarMy Profile

  3. I want to bottle up every single nursing session we still have. I’ve been breastfeeding my son for 20.5 months, and I know it’s coming to an end soon. I’m traveling for business in June for 4 days, and I feel like that will be it for us. (Note, I should email you for some advice about that!) I’m anticipating that last nursing with so many mixed emotions. When I think about how much I love those nursing smiles when we suddenly make eye contact, I know that missing them will break my heart. They are my favorite part of nursing, those little smiles in the middle of it. As a part-time co-sleeping momma, I found your post to be really sweet and completely accurate!

  4. Sometimes on weekend mornings I’ll get in bed with my son. He inherited my old full size bed. We snuggle for a while because he has started to get up earlier than he used to. So to keep him ‘entertained’ we snuggle in bed. He’s not a morning person so he enjoys this too. After a half hour he clearly is ready to get up and move along. So that half hour where we’re hunkered down under the covers is one of my moments I’d like to remember these days. I like listening to his morning noises. Yawns, stretches, snuggles with his pillow and blankets, and sometimes he’s whispering something to himself. Usually he ends up on top of me trying to peek into my eyelids, or just laying on my back seems comfortable to him. But he’s quiet the whole time. And I like his company. I couldn’t imagine a better way to wake up on weekends.
    Sara’s last post … DaydreamingMy Profile

  5. so sweet.
    I still cuddle with my boys (14 & 9) when they are feeling low. I feel very lucky that I still get these quiet moments, it does feed the mother-soul and makes all the other trials feel farther away. My boys are the only babies I get, and though I am happy to see them growing and developing independence, they are still (and always will be) a part of me… cuddles keep it real.
    *pol’s last post … May maybe great!My Profile

  6. He is a sweetheart and you are a great Mom! Happy Mother’s Day (almost)!!

  7. Six years later, I still miss nursing. But both my kids love me to sleep with them (god I wish we had bought them double beds). I lie down with Angus (who’s eleven years old today) to scratch his back and we talk for a bit. Sometimes when I’m done and I kiss him and go to get up he says, “can you stay a bit longer?”
    allison’s last post … Then We Played Strip TwisterMy Profile

  8. When my youngest was an infant, just a few weeks old, my husband was out with some friends one night and my oldest, who was 5 at the time, asked if he could watch a movie in our bed. He used to love laying in our big bed watching a movie with the lights off, he said it felt like being at the theater. So, I decided to take the baby up there and join him. Of course after just a few minutes of nursing, the baby nodded off to sleep and I soon did too. When my husband got home, all 3 of us were snuggled up together in the bed. It felt so cozy and sweet, my oldest had draped an arm around his baby brother and my hand had found its way to his head, stroking his hair. I wish I could have bottled that moment and saved it forever, there have been some trying times over the last several years when that lovely memory would have been very helpful.
    Earth Muffin’s last post … The Ex FactorMy Profile

  9. Oh, what a delicious moment to remember Amber. I love those moments too. I am so close to my little one being done with “bedtime nursing.” Because I know that it is so close to being over I have been taking it in with my senses just so I can try to bottle it up somehow – the closeness and how and comfortable she fits into my lap as we rock. Love it all. Happy Mother’s Day.
    Kristin’s last post … My Easter BabyMy Profile

  10. I know exactly that moment. Gabe, asking to hold my hand while he falls asleep. His tiny hand in mind, and I am taking a mental snapshot to hold onto the moment forever.
    Joyelle @ An Artful Endeavor’s last post … Photo Friday- artful living- lesson oneMy Profile

  11. I had a similar nighttime moment where the little one just wouldn’t go to sleep, rolling around the bed and kicking. But I love holding his tiny hand, knowing that it’s not much longer before he’s a big boy too.
    Lady M’s last post … Little Gluey HatsMy Profile

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