I held my precious eight week old baby son the other night and felt that wonderful awful bittersweetness once again. His tiny body was warm and snuggly against my chest and his baby breath was warm on my neck. Every so often a tiny contented sigh escaped his lips, and each time my own contented sigh followed. I reveled in the peacefulness of the moment. And then it struck me…hard.
Dear Daughter loved to be held and snuggled too. It was almost constant for the first two or so years of her life. Sometimes I felt like we were Velcro, she and I. There were periods of time that it felt like both a blessing and a curse. While I often longed to be able to hold her close and stop the clock and shut out anything else around me that required my attention, other times I wished she wasn’t so clingy so I could take a shower or do other necessary things that I preferred to do without a constant shadow.
For months and months I rocked her to sleep at night, cuddled her awake in the morning, snuggled her until she fell asleep at naptime, and held her for periods of time throughout the day. It seemed she could never get enough. Somewhere along the way she turned her current age of 2 ½ years, and things changed. She still occasionally pleads, “Mommy, ‘nuggle!” (This was the way she said “snuggle” from the time she could speak, and she still often says it this way even though she is more than capable of pronouncing the “s.”) But when I indulge her (and myself) in some cuddle time, the moment is much too short. She pauses only for a brief minute in my arms before running off to get busy with something else in her toddler world.
Yes, it struck me hard the other night as I held my baby boy close to my heart, and considered that awful tick tock of time that haunts me sometimes. My eyes brimmed with tears as I turned to my husband and said, “Two years will pass way too quickly once again!”