I know I've written about this before, but I struggle with death. Not with what happens to the person who dies...that doesn't worry me. I am terrified of being left behind. I think about losing someone close to me way more often than I should. I wouldn't say it consumes my daily activities, but it definitely plays a huge roll in how I treat my loved ones. I don't go to bed angry. I'll wake my boys up to kiss them goodnight before even thinking about just letting them sleep. I forgive everyone.
I feel like my way of thinking has helped me treasure tiny moments with my boys that a lot of people would take for granted. I smell their hair. I study their fingers and toes. I take pictures of their eyelashes and their chubby baby hands and their pouty lips. I want to remember everything about them on this day even when I'm old and they are grown men with babies of their own. I'm thankful for this.
I realized this morning that even though I'm taking the time to absorb them right now, things are changing too quickly for me to be able to keep up. Nolan doesn't want to rock and have milk before bed anymore. I can't remember the last time I sat in his chair in his room with him, singing him our song and snuggling him while he drank his milk. I don't mean that in a general "it has been forever!" way. I mean that literally. I want to remember the last time. I obviously didn't know on that night that I would never snuggle up with him in the crook of my left arm with just the dim light from the hallway in the room again. I'd never pull my hair over my shoulder so he could run his fingers through it as I found our song on YouTube to sing along with over and over again. I'd never hear his breathing change and see his sippy cup fall from his mouth as he fell asleep again. I'd never lift his too-heavy sleeping body from my arms to his crib and cover him with his favorite blue blankie again. Overnight, one night, he became too big for that.
The rocking chair isn't even in his bedroom anymore. He quit wanting to be rocked at night and now there is an awesome play tent in the chair's place. A big boy tent. He goes in there with his books and his animals and has adventures. He loves it. It makes me sad. But I keep watching him in that tent, and will continue to. Every night when he drags his toys in to play in his own special world, I will make a mental note of every giggle and every time he peeks out the side window to smile at me. I don't want the day to come when I look back and think "I don't remember the last time he wanted to have adventures in his tent." He won't know it is the last time, and chances are I won't either until later on. But I want to be present enough every day that I can look back and remember.
Griffin still wants to be cuddled as he falls asleep. I give him a lavender massage and put him in his pajamas. Daddy and Nolan come in and give us each kisses goodnight. Then I sit with my legs crossed and he lays in my lap while he has his bottle. I fold my left arm in front of me and he snuggles his face against it the same way every night. He doesn't hold his own bottle yet. He still needs me to do it for him. When he falls asleep, I pick him up and lay him on my chest for a little while before putting him in his bed. We do the same thing every night. It is always just me and him. I am so present during those moments. I will be able to look back and remember the last time he wiggled closer to me so he was able to press his cheek against my arm as he drifted off.
Every day I wake up and they are still there. They're healthy and living and strong and incredible. But they're changing. They're growing. Every morning they are a little bit different than they were when I put them to bed the night before. The baby I brought home almost two years ago is a little boy and the baby I brought home six months ago will be a year old before I know it. Every tomorrow is a gift and one I would never wish away so I could stay in today, but I'm soaking in every. single. second. while I'm here.