This evening you woke up from a deep sleep,  looking teary and disoriented.  You looked around and when your gaze fell on me, you smiled. You cracked that little midnight smile and then whimpered. You don’t talk yet but I knew you were calling me. So I rushed towards you and enveloped you in a warm embrace only a mother can give her child. I snuggled against you, patting your thighs gently to lull you back to sleep, humming the lullaby you enjoy very much.

When I thought you had drifted off to sleep, I slowly inched away from you. To my surprise you grabbed my shirt, your eyes still closed, your baby fists gripping me. You didn’t want me to leave your side, and so I stayed. I stroked your hair and watched you sleep.

When I thought you were in a deep sleep, I began to make my way out of bed again. You rolled towards me, still asleep, and snuggled so close to me that I couldn’t bear to break away. Stay Mama, you seemed to say as you slept. So I did. I said a prayer of thanks for this most wonderful present, for the gift of you.

Then I began to think – how long will you want to snuggle close to me? How long before you’d shy away from my embrace? Up to what age will you reach for me and cuddle close? The years go by so quickly. Little boys, I’ve heard, break away from sweet embraces sooner than little girls. I wondered how long I can keep snuggling you, my little boy.

While you are a baby, I will smother you with kisses. While you can’t run away from me, I will pepper you with pecks on the cheek. While you aren’t pushing me away, I’ll hold you close for as long as I can. I acknowledge that someday you will not want to be kissed or hugged by your own mother. It’s a teenage boy thing, I suppose. Maybe even a tween boy thing. So for now I will cherish your snuggles and stay put when you hold me, because I know you need me. Because I know I need that too.

“That’s enough kisses, Mommy,” a seven-year-old boy told his mother one time, after she showered him with kisses when she came home from work. My friend was brokenhearted but she knew that was just her little boy growing up. Hugs and kisses were to be rationed.

Maybe it won’t be that way with us, and maybe it will. What I know is that you will grow up. You will shy away from Mama’s kisses and embraces. This is why right now, I will stay put for as long as you ask me to. I will snuggle you and give you the warmth that you seek. I inched away because of chores and other obligations that needed to be completed. Now I realize that I will never run out of chores and obligations, but the moments a baby would want to snuggle close to his parent will fly by quickly.

So I choose to stay. I choose to snuggle back and snuggle close. I pat your thighs gently to lull you back to sleep, humming the lullaby you enjoy very much. We fall asleep together, nestled closely, as close as a mother and son could ever get.
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