Enjoy that baby.
The weight of his little body feels heavy against my arms as I let him go. I pull my fingers from the space between his back and the mattress below, ever so gently, until the two of them touch.
He looks up at me for just a moment with tired eyes before rolling over onto his side to fall asleep.
I quietly close the door behind me, and whisper "I love you" one last time, as if he can hear me, before heading downstairs. Alas, the night is mine to do anything I choose, yet here I sit missing the sweet smile of the little boy I just finally put down to bed. I can't help but wonder, did I enjoy him enough today?
Enjoy that baby.
These familiar words echo through my head all the time now.
It's a phrase I've heard frequently since becoming a mom. Most often, it's the well-intended advice of older women, strangers, but mothers themselves.
Perhaps they see a reflection of their own life in the glimpse they see of mine; A distant, but distinctly potent, memory of when they too held a small baby in their arms.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the sentiment.
A tender reminder of just how fast it goes.
So, I swallow the advice and soak in the moment a little more than usual.
Here's the thing, though.
I LOVE my baby.
An amount of love I never even knew existed inside of me.
Every single second of every single day. Even in the moments when I feel completely lost and would give almost anything for a break.
The moments when, I admit, I don't necessarily "enjoy" him, as fully as perhaps I should, I still LOVE him.
Someday, I know, I might look back at just how quickly he grew up and wish that I would have had a little more patience, a little more presence, and enjoyed him a little bit more.
And maybe, just maybe, I might even feel the need to approach a young mom in the grocery store and give her a light-hearted reminder to "enjoy that baby...," but, I'll also remind her it's okay if sometimes it's all she can do just to love him.