Briggs must be growing, because afternoon naps two days in a row for this four year-old is a bit of an anomaly.
Nonetheless, this afternoon I found myself cuddling up with him and dosing off. But, before I did, I took a deep breath and remembered the first time I took him to work with me.
Given his extended NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) stay, I took an extended maternity leave. Not returning until he was a little more than six months old, and even then, I only worked in the office a few days a week.
He wasn’t cleared for daycare until he was nearly 18 months old.
One day, fairly early on, I was stuck. There was an early live production (I used to work in radio and television) that I was needed for and it was a rare morning where no one else in the family was available to stay with him…so, I brought him to the studio.
He was a darling. Amazingly, angelic. I nestled him into the Baby Bjorn, he cuddled in, and I did my thing. Later, I made our way to an all-staff meeting in the station’s large atrium.
The station president caught a glance of us in the corner and came over with no prompting. He knew of the miracle of Briggs’s beginning and he was always very appreciative of my efforts on the job.
He asked for an introduction and I happily obliged.
His own daughters were approaching college age and it was obvious from the way he looked at my son that he adored being a Dad.
“Now this is really important, Amanda,” he said. “When you’re holding him like that, with his head tucked into your neck, make sure you make a memory. Remember everything about him. His skin, his smell, the way his hair feels. If you really concentrate on it, you can go back to it – even long after he won’t let you carry him anymore.”
And that’s just what I did – on that day and so many others.
And, it’s all I could think about this afternoon as Briggs and I laid down for what I know is an ever shrinking number of lazy afternoon naps together.
Before sneaking out of the room, long after he’d conked out, I took a good, long, deep inhale that seemed to stretch years back and years ahead all at the same time.
There are so many things I still strive to know, and feel, and understand…but how to be his Mom isn’t one of them.