Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Hard Day's Night

Hey Jude,

This morning you got up too early. So instead of taking you to daycare at 9, as usual, you fell asleep and slept until around 10:30. When you woke up, you wailed from your bed. Your dad and I walked into your room to find you still lying on your back with sleep still circling your eyes. You reached for me and I picked you up.

This is not unusual. I pick you up out of your bed anywhere from 3 to 7 times every night. But this morning when I picked you up, you were so warm and still fuzzy with sleep. You put your hands on either side of my face, looked in my eyes and kissed me right on the mouth. It was a gentle kiss, but a good kiss. And then, you kissed me again. And again. And again. Oh Jude! It was a simple moment, you wrapped in my arms, looking at me between kisses with those big eyes, your fingers finding my cheeks, wandering behind my neck and back again. You even spared a few of those kisses for your dad, who leaned in to get some of that sweetness. Your little sighs as you kissed me over and over awed the mother in me. Those sounds drove me to gratitude, my insides unconscious of any boundaries, just like when you drive your car down my leg and across Bo's poor tail and up the side of the fridge. My thankfulness soared, without limit, right into the core of who I am. The weight of you in my arms, the way your legs dangled around my waist, your lips halfway open fitted onto mine- this moment of affection rearranged the closet of my love for you. It knocked out a few walls, which I didn't even believe existed. It keeps getting bigger, baby, this place I keep within me full of you.

Jude, I am thrilled with who you are becoming. Your Korean name, EoJin ( 어진) means kind and gentle. I'm in wonder of the way you bear this name so well. You fully embodied your name this morning when you held me so softly and kissed me as many times as you felt I needed kissing.

And how did you know I needed kissing, Jude? How did your tiny heart sense that mine had a slight chill? Did you hear me early this morning at 3:30 after I'd just put you back down at 2 saying, "This is not my life. This cannot be my life," as I peeled myself out from under the covers to rescue you from the misery that sleep seems to be for you these days? Did you somehow figure out that although you apparently don't need very many consecutive hours of sleep, I need a good deal of it and haven't had any since you were born?

Jude, I know those kisses weren't apologies, but I took them and buried them deep in my heart so that tonight and the next night and the night after that I can dig them out and look at them and remind my knees what gratitude feels like when I'm up at 1:30 and 2 and again at 4 and when you finally wake up for good at some ridiculous hour, like 5:30am, like this morning. And I will pray for mid-morning naps that conclude in precious hugs and heart-rending kisses, tearing holes in a space that is never big enough for the wonder of who you are.

But I will also pray for sleep. Mr. 14-months-old-who-needs-sleep-ain't-nobody-got-time-for-that. But until that day comes, until you learn to give yourself fully to the dark quiet of closed eyes and still body, I will cherish these Hard Day's Nights. Because, Jude,

"It's been a Hard Day's Night
I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you
I find the things that you do,
they make me feel alright.
When I'm home, everything seems to be right,
When I'm home, feeling you holding me tight."

Your kisses will get me through a thousand Hard Day's Nights, baby. When I'm home, and you're holding me tight, everything is right. Everything is right.

All my Lovin',

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