Bedtime MOM-ent

Just a few days ago, I read an article about kids' last times. The author was talking about how we always remember the first time our babies turned over, their first steps, first words. But we focus so much on the first times, that we don't notice the last times that mark our children's passage from one stage of their life to the other. And the thing is, you never know when it might be the last time. Thinking of it now, I can't remember the last time J needed to be swayed to sleep. For months now, he's been sleeping like a big boy, tossing and turning on his bed until he drifts off.

Last night, after we brushed J's teeth, I carried him to his bed to sleep. I gave him his bottle, and just before he stuck it in his mouth, he said, "Mama, ga!" He was telling me to lie down beside him. My son does this fairly regularly. He likes it when we cuddle in his bed. Sometimes I sing him silly little songs and nursery rhymes. Sometimes I admonish him for some misbehavior during the day. And sometimes, I just babble and say sweet nothings to my little boy.

Mama cuddling a 6-month old J
I always love these moments. Even though I still had to go downstairs and check on the maid, pick up the trail of debris J left in our room, and prepare our things for the next morning, I was always reluctant to say good night. Last night, as he was cuddled close to me, sipping his milk contentedly, I breathed in that special little boy smell and rubbed his tummy. I rested my head against his shoulder and out of nowhere, I said softly to him, "You know something, you won't be a baby forever, but you will always be Mama's little baby boy." To my surprise, J nodded his head, as though saying, "I know, Mama."

It always amazes me to find out how much he understands now. Last night, as I was preparing to say one final good night, I told him that I had to go in a bit because I still had to go check on things downstairs. J pulled the bottle from his mouth and said, "Daddy, baba." He meant that I should stay there and tell his dad to go down instead of me. Haha!

It amazes me even more to realize that one day, Little C will grow up and be as big as J is now, and one day, both my boys will grow up and they won't ask me to kiss their ouchies, to spend a few moments with them before they drift off to sleep, or to hold my hand when we take a walk.

I won't know when that last time will come, that last time when J will plead with me to stay a bit longer with him, or ask me to sit down and play with him. I don't know until when Little C will be able to fall asleep cradled in my arms like the baby he is, or until when he'll gurgle happily at the sight of me and raise his chubby little arms to be picked up. I don't know until when I'll stop being the most beautiful woman in the world for these two boys and I don't know when Big C and I will stop being the most important people in the world to them. All I know is that the days are long but the years are short, and in the blink of an eye, my boys will have grown up.

So I stayed just a few minutes longer. And as I reluctantly crept my way out of their room last night, J's plaintive little whimper, "Mama, de!", telling me not to leave, tugged at my heart and I tucked the memory away. After all, as I told J, my babies won't be babies forever.

Happy weekend!