Every night, when we put Eli down, we turn on his music, read three stories, rock him for a song or two then lay him down and kiss him good night. Having always lived in tighter quarters since he was born, we keep the music on repeat until we go to bed. Usually the first one to go by his room on our way to bed turns off his music and puts his blanket back on him if he's kicked it off.
Lately though, Luis and I have both been going in to turn off the music together and then we stand there and watch our precious son sleep. We stare really and if you think that's weird or creepy, then just wait till you have a kid and you'll totally understand that it is in fact, not weird or creepy at all. It is a moment so sacred and peaceful that your heart craves those precious minutes with which to end each day.
We marvel together at this child who is rapidly changing from baby to boy right before our eyes.
Sometimes Luis will pick him up and just hold him and pray over him.
Sometimes I will sit and take in the moment, etching every little thing about his little face in my mind so that one day when his baby face is gone and he's a grown man I will still be able to recall his sweet little nose, his perfect little lips, his oh-so-blonde hair and his chubby little hands.
I never want to forget these days. As we prepare for Baby Numero Dos to enter our family, amidst the excitement there is also a bittersweet reality that my time with just Eli is about up. My chance to cherish all of the "firsts" and to pour all of my love and myself into just one child is coming to an end.
Did I cherish him enough? Did I soak up every moment that I could? Did I take it all for granted? Did I wish moments away that I shouldn't have? Did I pour all that I could into him? Did I make the most of these last 2 years, the only 2 years in time that it was just he and I?
I will only have one child once in my life and that season will soon be over. He will soon have to share me. My time and attention will be divided because there will be two little ones who need me. Two to love. Two to cherish. Two to give of myself to. Two to hold. Two to rock and sing to sleep. Will I miss out on special moments with Eli taking care of baby and vise versa? Will I be enough for both of them?
That is the beautiful thing about parenting though; the love never runs out. There is always enough of you even if you don't feel that you have anything left to give. No matter how difficult the day or how challenging your child is at times, when you look into that sleeping face it is all washed away and you are renewed with the strength to keep pressing on.
I have experienced with Eli how love grows exponentially with each passing day. Just when you think your heart might burst and that you cant possibly love him anymore, your love grows and your heart stretches in ways you never thought possible. I can only imagine with the addition of a second, it will be even more so.
“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone
My heart is about to walk outside of my body, twice. I am amazed at how God designed us, and how He uses the gift of children to give us a taste of His infinite, deep, unconditional love for us. All 6 billion of us on this planet, He loves each and every one. He pursues us relentlessly and with passion. And I would be willing to bet there are times He sits and marvels at the wonderful creation that we are, just as Luis and I do with Elliot.
If I seem like I'm rambling, I'm sorry. I am just filled with this unexplainable emotion, anticipating the changes that are about to take place and how our family will shift and change to welcome this new little life into our world. It all seems so surreal as we head into what will most likely be the final week before baby comes. It's as if I have been pregnant forever, yet somehow the reality that soon another child will be here has not set in until now.
Any day now I will be transformed from a mom of one to a mother of two. Our family will grow from three to four. Our nights will shorten from 6-8 hours to 2, 3, hopefully 4 hours of sleep. And this love we have that compels us to stare at our son sleeping each night will multiply in ways we can't even imagine. Life is about to get a little crazy around here and we can't wait!