I’m finally alone with my thoughts. Belle is in bed, Leo is out jogging. This is peace. This is what my mind needed. Time to put thoughts to paper. It is my time to remember that moment today, that moment I wanted to capture forever and share with you.
I lay in bed with Belle as she napped, thinking with anxiety about many of the issues going on in my life right now. I have so much to be happy about but yet the peace of my mind is still snagged by thoughts of negative situations. And then I feel it, I hear it. Her long, slow breathing beside me. She is asleep, her little body is nestled into my side and moves with each inhale and exhale. And she calms me. Her peace and state of deep sleep bring me down from the cliff of anxiety and I remember that I am laying in bed with my baby. That I am in the still-surreal position of being able to be her full-time caretaker. And yes, I still lay with her during naps. Both naps. And that’s just the way I want it right now. She’s my baby, my buddy, my little best friend, and I probably won’t be able to do this with my next. So I’ll do it now, and hopefully I’ll enjoy every second.
And it seems in that moment like Belle is making sure I enjoy every second, by drawing me into her calmness with those deep breaths, her warm little body nestled into me, she’s at complete peace. And I remember all the times that I’ve used this same technique on her. On those days when we lay down to nap and she’s still wanting to play, wanting to jump on the bed, wanting to hear the sound of her hand slapping my side, and I tell her calmly, “it’s naptime.” Over and over again she stands up and over and over again I lay her down beside me to nurse as I consciously and intentionally slow and deepen my own breathing, knowing that she will sense it and relax herself as well. Letting her feel the slow rise and fall of my chest and ribs against her, showing her that my body is calm.
So today as the roles were reversed, as her slow, loud, deep breaths continued to come and go, with each inhale and exhale, it’s as if she was telling me, “mommy now it’s your turn to relax with me. Enjoy this time with me. We have each other and that’s all that matters.”
I know she won’t nap with me forever, but I’ll always cherish this first year full of excessive cosleeping, and now I’ll always remember the first time Belle reminded me to relax and shared her calmness with me.