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© 2018 by Laura Pruitt

Baby on My Chest


Your small body is draped across my torso; your limbs hanging off my sides. You pick up your head in discomfort only to slam it back down in exhaustion.


“It’s okay baby, mama’s here,” I coo in an attempt to soothe your cries.


I remember the first time I pulled you onto my chest; your then-much-smaller body just separated from my own. That day the tears were from the shock of being born. Tonight you’re just overtired and needing me.


I’m listening to you breathe, waiting for a deep sigh -- the signal that you’ve given up the fight to stay awake.


You’re still restless, so I sing softly in your ear, “I love you, Logan, oh yes I do …” guiding your unsettled mind to calm.


Soon you’re completely relaxed, but I delay transferring you to your own bed, holding tight to the moment and your warm body. There’s just no telling when the last time I hold you as you sleep may be. Soon enough you’ll be too heavy to hold. I won’t pass on the opportunity while it’s here.


I mentally fast forward to when you’re a grumbly teenager too cool for mom and plant another kiss on your dimpled cheek.


Reluctantly, I scoop you up and return you to your crib like a library book I’ve read time after time but can’t get enough of. I’m not sure whether to hope you stay settled or cry to be reunited.


Back in bed my body is relieved to have room to stretch, but I miss the rhythm of your breathing and your little pocket of warmth nestled into me. I suspect it’s a preview of life to come. Grateful for space for myself while simultaneously missing the intrusion.