Some days you are just hungrier than others. About once a week or so, there is a 48-hour period during which you must eat every hour and a half and you let it be known with your newfound strong lungs if the grace period for the current feeding has expired. I suppose it takes a lot of food to maintain the title of Longest Baby In The World, which is why I don’t complain about it. Somebody’s got to empty these giant milk jugs and it might as well be you.
But something sounded different when I put you down for your nap today. You had already eaten and been changed. You made this pleading cry that I hadn’t really heard before, and it wasn’t just naptime fussing. You had just eaten, so it couldn’t be that. I had just changed your diaper due to a huge assex (that would be ass explosion for those of you not familiar with my vernacular), so it couldn’t be that. You were so very tired from being up half the night eating, but you just couldn’t sleep. You can’t talk yet, but you kept repeating “ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma. . . “ I went in and picked you up and held you against my chest and sat in the easy chair. You wrapped your long little arms around my neck and lay your head on my breast and promptly fell asleep. You just wanted Mama, and that was all.
A few silent minutes went by and then suddenly Uncle Rufus came running in from the living room, whining anxiously like he always does when you cry. Only this time he wasn’t whining at you. He was whining at me. “WHAT IS WRONG????” his wrinkled up brow and concerned eyes pleaded. Your mama was crying like a baby.
I have long believed that we create our own heaven or hell right here on earth. A shift in attitude can bring the greatest joy into the most hellish of circumstances. And likewise, all the money and fame and accomplishment in the world cannot bring true happiness to anyone. It’s an inside job. This is something I want to teach you as you grow up. You are not responsible for my happiness, but in that moment that you slept on me, I felt heaven on earth in the very depths of my soul. The only other moment that came close was the day I married your father. And as I sat there with you, I thought how incredibly fortunate I am. I am the richest woman in the world. I’ve been through some heavy times in my life and had terrible moments of despair. But they were all like cobblestones paving the way for me to have you enter my life.
When we made the decision to have a baby, I didn’t know at the time that I needed you, specifically you, one in a billion you. But here you are. To say “I love you” just seems so very inadequate, but it’s all I have. I love you.
Of course, I couldn’t very well explain this to Uncle Rufus, so I just told him it was okay and, believing me, he curled up on the monkey rug and the three of us stayed that way for at least an hour until you woke up, ready to eat again. Ready to hang out in our little slice of heaven.