The Bug has had a cold all week. Last night she developed this nasty, croup-y sounding cough which kept waking her up. Around 2 a.m. she started crying, so I got up to get her. The poor little thing, she was just sitting in her crib, head down, fists scrubbing at her eyes, crying in a hoarse, pathetic little voice. When she saw me, she wailed "Mama," and held up her arms.
I gathered her up and brought her to bed. She nursed for a bit but wouldn't drift off until I held her on top of me, against my chest. She snuggled right down, stuck her thumb in her mouth and started twirling a strand of my hair in her fingers. I rubbed her back for a while, savouring the weight of her on me, her snuffly breaths against my neck.
It's times like this that hurt, when I realize that this is it, that there won't be any more moments like this. No more babies, no more trusting little bodies curved into mine, no more midnight snuggles, no more milk-drunk infants splayed out across my lap. I'm done.
So I try to carve each moment into my memory, but they're so fleeting, so ephemeral that I know I'm going to forget some of it. Every quiet moment with her is an opportunity to try again to capture it in my brain, to attempt to hold on to a moment, a moment that made me smile or cry or just stare in wonder.
How do you hold on to that? To the toothless grins, the babbling and cooing, the helpless giggles and even the inconsolable tears? How do you live in the moment while trying to hold on to the past? Because I want to, because as much as I love watching my babies grow and become these people, these funny, happy, sometimes maddening people, I long to hold on to that baby-ness of them, to hold their tiny little hands in mine, to keep them small forever.