The stillness of this morning caught my mind. Each day of the week we hustle and bustle about this tiny place. Always thinking about what our next move is. Filling his bottles, making his food, walking the dog, getting in the shower, simultaneously checking email, news feeds and text messages. Making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, making a coffee and then forgetting a coffee was made. The tasks of the day ahead occupy our minds, and we often overlook the simple beauty that is getting a sleepy baby out of his crib. Walking in in the morning to those sleepy little eyes and sleepy little smile. Watching him lift up into a perch just waiting to be swooped up. Listening to the babbles on the monitor and debating when to interrupt his conversation with no one.
But today was different. In theory, I realize that this time is short. I know that one day, he won’t need me to feed him, dress him, change him. I know that he won’t want to snuggle, or curl on my lap, or think everything I do is hilarious. I know that he won’t want to pull at my hair, or earrings or feel the texture of whatever I am wearing. I know his room won’t always be this clean, color coordinated and perfectly imperfect. But today, we sat in stillness. He drank formula. I drank coffee. Both were the perfect temperature, which almost never occurs. The sun shone through the window and highlighted all of the perfectly curated nursery items I had spent hours pouring the internet for. He was content. I was content. Something else that almost never occurs. We looked at each other every few moments, and we would smile. Daddy was taking the dog for a walk, and it was just he and I.
I sat and thought this moment should be longer. I am present. I am happy. I knew that as soon as the bottle would run out, he would fuss and I would perseverate over whether to give him more, or whether to continue about our morning routine. I knew that soon the front door would fly open, and Daddy and doggie would rush in to see us. We’d talk about our plans for the day, and who had to do what and go where. This moment we were living in was fleeting, and I made the rare conscious decision to be present.
As my son gets older and learns to be a bigger human, I find myself looking backward more often. I miss the 5 lb. 2 oz. baby who arrived a month early. I miss the preemie clothes and preemie diapers. I miss the teamwork that was my husband and I as we did all we could to get through those first few weeks as a family of three. But what I miss and long for the most is the moments that I missed. Whether I be dialed in to a documentary on Netflix, or way too deep in an Instagram scroll or barreling through texts and emails, I know there were thousands of glimpses of my son at every given stage that I missed. I do not have a memory of what those are, as I never got to see them. It’s hard to grieve something you haven’t seen or experienced. But this morning, I vowed to myself as we go into a new decade and me into a new year of being a mom, that I will embrace simple moments more often and consciously take in the beauty that is the chaos of having a tiny human.
Laura Demuth is a 30-something first-time mom, raising her little dude by the beach in southern California. By day, she is a nurse practitioner. She is married to the most amazing man who has turned into the most amazing father with their sweet little son, Carson.