For me, one of the sweetest moments of motherhood is holding my sleeping babies. At night, after N is done nursing, I will hold him for a few moments, gently rocking him and singing him a lullaby. He settles his head against my left shoulder and sticks his right thumb into his mouth. Usually he is still awake when I put him down in his crib, but some nights, he is so tired that he falls asleep as he nurses, or as we rock.
This past Saturday was one of those nights. Ed and I had left the children with Ed's parents for the evening. By the time we picked up the children and returned home, it was well past their bedtimes. N had fallen asleep in the car, but woke up a little as I readied him for bed. He fell asleep again as he finished nursing, and as I cuddled him to me, I could feel the soft heaviness of his body as it lay against my shoulder. His head was tucked up in my neck, and the soft wisps of his hair tickled my ear. His breathing was heavy and a little congested, and he snorted a little whenever he gave his thumb a few sucks. As I sat there in the darkened room I felt like I could never put my baby down. And so we rocked for a little while longer as I held him close, trying to hold onto the sands of his babyhood sifting and falling through my fingers.