Monday, October 25, 2010

To my little boy, the insomniac

You are sleeping now, finally.  Every nap and every night is a fight, but once you are asleep, you stay asleep.  Still, it is a fortunate day when you nap, and an even more fortunate night when you fall asleep before midnight.  I get you to sleep by cuddling you in a dark room for an hour or more, but I usually end up asleep before you.  All of my waking moments belong to you, and I am afraid to move you when you nap or you won't nap at all.

I know you don't want to miss anything.  I know the world is new and exciting and now that you are mobile, there is so very much to see.  Your personality is starting to settle in, and what I see more than anything is overwhelming curiosity.  You have always been so alert and so aware of your surroundings, even as a newborn you looked into the eyes of others and began to understand.

Thanks to your grandmother, you have more toys than we know what to do with, but you don't care much for them.  You'd rather sit outside under the trees, swing in the park, and steal electronic devices and skeins of yarn off the couch.  The world is your toy.  The world is yours to mold under your creative will.  You are already manipulating your environment through pillow forts, figuring out the mechanics of baby gates, and removal of wall outlet covers.

Little one, it surprised me when you began to speak even though you weren't even nine months old yet.  You still only have a couple of words, but you know how to use them.  Early talker, late mover, and you are just now figuring out how to sit up on your own without being placed.  Maybe you just didn't have anyone to model that after.  After meeting another little boy and watching him cruise on furniture, you had the cruising skill mastered within days.

You are growing up so fast.  Every day is a new skill.  You are 10 months old and perfect.  Soon you won't be a baby anymore and will never be a baby again.  Soon I'll have to set you loose on the world and see where your exuberant personality and obvious intelligence take you.  You'll always be my baby, but I resign myself to knowing that one day you will be a man.

For now I'd rather watch you sleep, innocent one.  You are cuddled up on my lap, snoring softly.  You are beautiful and happy, energetic and inquisitive.  I will hold on to these moments to recall in the future days when you are a sullen teenager and a busy adult.  Silky hair, soft skin, color-changing eyes, a slight smile when you sleep.  I'm saving this moment for later.  I am slowly raising you and teaching you to be a wonderful person, but for now, sleep, dream, play, learn, and live surrounded by love.

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