Motherhood: A Poem
6am I hear him wailing.
He had been sleeping later for a couple weeks.
But that suddenly changed.
It’s frustrating when babies slip into different phases without warning.
I roll over to check the monitor.
He’s standing up.
I glance at my husband, sound asleep.
I blow my breath loud to see if he stirs. Nothing wakes him.
I pull myself from the comfort of my bed with my eyes half open.
My feet take me down the hall to his room.
Just the sight of me makes his wailing stop.
I pull him from his crib.
I change his wet diaper.
If diaper changes in the dark were an olympic event, I’d be a decent competitor.
I settle down in the rocker and drape him across my lap.
I look down at his sweet face as I nurse him.
He’s peaceful, content, angelic.
I feel guilty for grumbling to get up so early.
I raise my head as the early sun begins to seep through the blinds.
I allow my face to drink in the warm rays.
The monotony of routine, the struggle of late nights and early mornings,
It all washes away in this moment.
I look down at my healthy boy.
I relish in the boundless trust and vulnerability that we share with one another.
I alone can give him what he wants.
I alone can give him what he needs.
I alone can quell his cries.
I rest my eyes as he nurses.
I let the rhythmic rocking calm me.
These moments are fleeting.
I feel him pull away from me.
I look down to a satisfied grin.
His cheeks rosy, his eyes glistening.
I lift him to sit in my lap.
He reaches for my face.
He touches it and memorizes every line.
I bring him close and we rub noses.
He’s always loved doing that since he was a newborn.
He nuzzles his head into my neck.
I bask in his warmth.
This is what it’s all about.
I squeeze him and bring his face up to mine.
His mouth opens wide with a gaping smile.
Gurgle. Burp. Splat.
I place him on the floor.
I wipe regurgitated milk off my glasses, face, and neck.
And so begins another day.