I hear you breathe. Deeply. In. And out. You told me you didn’t need to take a nap, you silly boy. I saw your head bobbing and your eyelids getting too heavy for you to hold open. Your fingers held onto the tiny toy in your hand. I made eye contact with you through my rear view mirror. Holidays can be exhausting. For kids and grown-ups alike. I carried you into the house. I may regret the decision to let you late-afternoon/early evening nap later on tonight.
But in this moment, I’m happy for your stillness. I’m grateful for your inability to defeat the nap monster. I’m perfectly peaceful resting with my eyes open. Right next to you. In moments like these, I’m overcome with love for you, my beautiful growing boy. No longer a baby. You’ve barely tiptoed past the toddler years. My preschool boy. Yet, still innocent and little enough that you fell asleep gently gripping the toy you played with right before your eyelids succumbed to the pillow.
You play hard. It’s nonstop. Going. Doing. Running. Hiding. Wrestling. Pretending. Building. Arguing. Crying. Giggling. You have the greatest dimples when you smile. And you ask a million questions a day. You want to know why residents at your great Grandma’s like to say “hi” to you or touch your hair. You want to know why elephants have such big ears. You even ask hard questions about God and Jesus that I don’t know the answers to. Like why did God make rats. You’re curious. And smart. And alive. So alive.
I’m constantly amused, perplexed and grateful for the thoughts that readily exit out of your tiny mouth. I miss your sweet voice when you sleep. I miss you saying things like, “when my eyes get hot, they cry.”
I love you when you’re sleeping. Because I can stop and think on all of the beautiful reasons why I love you So incredibly much when you’re awake. It’s easy to forget sometimes or get short-fused and distracted by the busy monster and your endless energy. But it’s really what I miss the most when you’re gone or I’m gone or while you dream.
Wake up soon, my long eyelashed, perfectly beautiful sleeping boy. There’s a toy in your hand, ready to be played with the moment you awaken. And there’s a mama, a daddy and two brothers that have missed you. While you were napping.