In the small dark hours, our house is quiet — the noise of the day, of your brothers, of our life has fallen away into slumber.
You lie here, tucked between us in our bed, the bed where you were born. You own your space like an intrepid explorer staking claim — one hand outstretched in sleep to find your father, the other entwining fat fingers in my hair. Your breaths are deep and regular and slow.
You sleep like an intrepid explorer staking claim.
Soon you will begin to rouse from sleep, becoming restless — teething is hard and has brought a return to night nursing. You will turn up onto your side and wriggle over to me, fitting together with me like Yin and Yang as I wrap myself around you. You will latch without waking.
As you nurse, I will study the geography of your face — the roundness of your cheek, the softness of your skin, your rumpled silky hair, your delicate eyelashes. I will lose myself in your smell, in the feel of your warm skin against mine, in the way your fingers never stop exploring the terrain of my body even in sleep.
These tender shadowed moments are precious.
Then, satiated, you will fling yourself away — arms akimbo, reaching out to touch both me and your father at once, reorienting yourself in sleep with milk drunk dreaming smiles.
These are moments to which I will cling, remembering these endless nights, this reconnection, this communing, this convergence in the ever-changing rhythm of our lives — this safety, this love, this haven. This bed is our nest, our sanctuary, to which we return each night. It is a constant in our day.