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Don’t Miss This

13 March 2013

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I swear he’s at his cutest early in the morning – sleeping peacefully, arms at perfect right angles on either side of his perfect face. He’s at his cutest early in the morning when it’s too dark in the bedroom for my iPhone camera to register anything at all.

So there are no photos, no pixelated memories to call up decades from now.

And that concerns me, so I laid awake very early yesterday morning and watched him sleep.

I rubbed his fuzzy head ever so gently, with just the tips of my fingers. I traced every curve of his chubby face and rolling chins with my eyes, and I recalled the soft touch of his new skin.

I counted the pimples still clinging to his cheeks, and I matched his breath for a few quick moments.

My eyes started to close, but he squeaked and wiggled a bit to remind me what I was doing. Studying. Trying to etch every perfect detail in my brain so that I’d never forget him at almost-three-months-old in the bedroom that’s too dark to photograph. 

I have other pictures. I have lots of other pictures. But I want to savor it all. I’m terrified I’ll forget some little detail and I know that is silly and there will be all kinds of details that I won’t even know I have forgotten by the time they’ve faded but I can’t help it. 

I strained my eyes back open, despite my obvious lack of sleep, and I watched him inhale again. Exhale again. “Don’t miss this,” I reminded myself. (And that horrid Aerosmith song came to mind and I hate – hate – that in this wonderful moment I had to tolerate, even for a second, the inaudible recollection of Steve Tyler’s voice in my head singing, “I don’t wanna clooose my eyyyesss …”) “Shut up, Tyler. Don’t miss this, Lex. Don’t forget.”

He squirmed again and let out a tiny sigh and I wondered what his voice will sound like. I wondered if I’ll tear up the first time he calls me, “Mommy.” I wondered what he’ll sound like when he’s five and he runs into the house, out of breath from playing in the yard, to ask for juice or if we can go to the park down the street. I wondered what his voice will sound like when he falls and scrapes his knee, or when he catches his first fish, or when he calls to us from bed, or when it changes in high school.

I wondered if he’ll be an extrovert or an introvert. If he’ll be into sports or art or science, or all of it. I wondered if his hair really will get redder. I wondered when and how he’ll encounter God for the first time, and I hoped I’ll be there to see it … or, at least, that he’ll come home eager to tell me about it. I wondered what he’ll naturally excel at.

He’s twelve pounds of mystery, wrapped in a cloth diaper, gently snoring next to me, and while I can’t wait to see how it all comes together, I was also fiercely jealous for that quiet, dim morning.

But my eyes were too heavy, so I took one last mental note and let them close. He grunted and stretched, and I reached over to lay a hand gently on his chest – the weight keeps him calm, and the touch reassures me that he won’t grow up while I’m sleeping.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenn permalink
    13 March 2013 8:36 AM

    My thoughts exactly.

  2. Magda permalink
    13 March 2013 7:22 PM

    I so love this. ❤
    I love all your posts actually, thoroughly enjoy reading them, but this is my first comment!
    As someone whose kids are grown and gone – you don't forget. Ok, ok you don't remember every little thing but there are so many more memories coming that they blur a bit. The great thing is you are recording them now which cements them in your heart.
    Keep doing it, and props for somehow managing the time to do it! Impressive. 🙂
    p.s. yes you will tear up when he first calls you Mommy, and a whole lot of other firsts too.

    • Lex permalink
      14 March 2013 8:45 AM

      Hey! Nice to hear from you. 🙂

      I usually “find the time,” when it’s supposed to be time for folding laundry or doing dishes, but I think it’s worth the sacrifice. (And I hate matching socks anyway.)

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