early morning

it’s 4.30am and i am awake, listening to the rest of my world sleep.

inside, the steady, soothing hum of the electric fan keeps company with alvin’s steady, gentle snoring. outside, an eager rooster and the neighbors’ dog hold a conversation.

i had just rocked roque back to sleep, having been awakened by my seven-month-old’s whimpers to him standing in his crib, hands clutching the rails.

i hold and hug my son all the time, but somehow, these times we have together at this time of the day seem more precious than most. nothing extra special really happens; he wakes up for reasons i don’t know and starts calling out, i gather him, all crumpled and sweet-smelling from having just awakened, into my arms and rock him back to sleep.

yet these moments have a softness to them that is uniquely their own, and that i am certain i will go back to again and again in my mind when he’s all grown up and has no more need to be gathered into my arms and comforted back to sleep.

i am painfully aware of how fast that time will come, of how him wanting to cuddle will quickly turn into him barely tolerating my hugs. and so i cherish these middle-of-the-night wakings as best i can, however tiring, however inconvenient, however zombie-like it makes me the next day.

and during nights when it seems i have to summon all the self-control in my being to not scream in frustration at having to get up at 4.30am,  or 3am,  or 2.15am, i force myself to stop, take a deep,  calming breath, and remind myself of nights like tonight, when i can think of being nowhere better than where i am, grounded by the weight of my contented baby in my arms.



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