Sammy and I have really hit a great pattern. He's been sleeping through the night and taking three naps every day. I would say it’s a miracle if I didn’t know how much work and time it took to establish this routine. His awake time is so joyous. He laughs and babbles with excitement as he discovers the world from a well-fed and well-rested point of view. He's ready to eat about every three hours and has become very specific in the way that he asks for his food.
Nursing Sammy has become our special private time in a way that no other part of our mother-son relationship can be. I feel nostalgic as I look down on his long and growing body, his legs hanging way off to the side where his whole body used to fit in my lap like a peanut. My boy is growing, every day into a little man.
As I gaze down upon his sweet face while he nurses I think about all the moments that have gone by in the past six months. I remember the first night that we put Sammy to bed without a swaddle. I remember the first time that he rolled over and where – at Grandma’s house. I remember his first smile, his first laugh, etc. Looking back on the past always leads me to the same place, the future. I try to envision what Sammy will be like as a toddling toddler, I try to imagine what his voice will sound like saying Mama and Papa. I try to imagine him dressed up for his first high school dance (terrifying!). It is too hard to picture, too mysterious to actualize.
It is easy to get lost in the past and the future. The past, filled with warm memories, filled with lessons for what is to come, filled with tangible icons of what was. The future is a whole new world of potential. The future holds so much promise for Sammy. He will continue to grow and blossom, he will learn to walk, run, play, dance, sing, etc… But what about right now? What about the present? Sometimes I will catch myself admiring pictures of Sammy from a few weeks ago while he is sitting and playing right in front of me. Should I not be capturing the moments that are passing right now?!
There are too many clichéd phrases about living in the moment and seizing the now that we hear every day. Perhaps there are so many phrases about carpe diem because it is something that is so important but also so hard to accomplish. Take the lessons that the past have taught us and translate them into a rich and fulfilled present.
Nursing Sammy has become a time for us to learn about each other, to grow closer together. The truth of the matter is that nursing, to the exclusion of almost every other activity in Sammy’s life, is the only time when I am forced to sit still, to appreciate what is, and to live in the moment. I am grateful to Sammy for not only teaching me this important lesson, but allowing me to internalize its meaning. Sammy has taught me to seize the day and to live as full and rich of a life as I can. I only hope that I will be able to one day teach this same lesson to Sammy once he is ready to learn it.