Some days, like today, something funny happens while I’m doing something normal with my son – changing his diaper, wiping his sticky eye with a cotton ball, watching him carefully form his little mouth around his new “ooo” sounds.
Today, it was while I was feeding him.
His warm body was cuddled up against me, curled around my stomach while he ate and began to slip into his two o’clock nap. I was watching Friends or Gilmore Girls or one of the other shows I turn on when I’m confined to the couch for his twenty-minute dinner times. I felt his tummy rise and fall against mine. I heard his quiet breath. Occasionally, he’d let out a contented sigh.
We do this every day. Five times a day, usually.
But this time, that thing happened. That funny thing, where I look at him as if seeing him for the first time. Where the world kind of fades into the background and it’s just me and him, and I realize I am 29 and live in a flat in England with my British husband. Where I realize I am a mother. Where I realize I’ve been entrusted with the life of a human being. Where I realize my son is here. The waiting is over. The years I spent pining for a child, the nine months I spent feeling him grow inside of me. That is behind me. He’s here. He lives and breathes and shares our lives with us.
I don’t understand how this happened.
I take a moment to make sure this is real, and that I haven’t dreamed it all. I pinch myself and it hurts. But the pain is sweet, because I wouldn’t trade this for any dream.