I wrote this back in September, but lately, as Luke's birthday is approaching, it's all I can think about. Weaning is on the horizon for us, so I know these quiet morning moments are few. Since I can't think about much else, I thought I'd share it with you.
each morning I wake up to the cooing of my little alarm clock down the hall. I open his door and he grins as I scoop him up. I take him back to bed with me, and we snuggle amongst the blankets and pillows while he nurses. he, of course, is focused on only one thing, and I breathe in his baby smell as I kiss his head. he is still, except for one little foot that rotates around. he is happy. I whisper to him then, in the early morning. I whisper things I want him to remember, things I used to whisper while his heart still beat inside my body as I cradled my expanding tummy. things I whispered to him as soon as he was placed in my arms after birth, and every morning since. you are strong. you are safe. you are loved. the things I say vary a little each day, but always, always, you are loved.
my parents told me these things, in whispers as well as in actions. It was the way my dad made me model new clothes for him, and the way he whistled as he said, you are beautiful each Sunday morning. It was the way my spelling tests were preserved in photo albums or hung on the fridge that my mother said you are smart. It was the way dad snuggled me on the couch every evening and the way my mom signed I love you with her hands as my school bus drove away each morning that said you are loved, you are safe.
I spent a lot of elementary school lunches eating in a bathroom stall because I stood up for what I believed in. after, I'd look in the mirror before I headed back to my personal hell and wipe my tears and think, I am loved. and I am strong because I can do this.
As I took my tests in school, I remembered previous tests, proudly displayed at home, and think, I am smart.
And in the afternoons, as I jumped off the bus and ran through our front door, I thought, I am safe.
I am loved, I am smart, I am safe. It was these words, these thoughts these feelings that kept me going through these tormenting years.
One day soon, I'll hang his tests on our fridge, tell him he's handsome in his Sunday tie, and I'll sign I love you as he watches from the bus window. But for now, right now, these whispers are enough.
you are safe. you are handsome. you are strong.
you are loved.
I whisper these important things I know he'll remember, and I breathe in his baby smell. His downy hairs tickle my nose. And each morning, when his belly is full, he smiles, touches my cheek and coos.
I love you, too.