“Baby Dude’s asleep,” my eleven-year-old told me.
“He’s WHAT? Did he even eat any of his dinner?”
“Some..” she said.
He had just gotten down from the table. He climbed up the stairs, to resume his Wii game, and promptly fell asleep with the controller in his hands.
It wasn’t even eight-o’clock yet.
My daughter swept him up into her arms and brought him down, laying him on my older son’s kindergarten nap-mat and the pillow from his bed. “I think he has a fever.”
I felt his head, seeing the tips of his ears were red. “Oh boy. Yes. Yes he does.”
The house, until now, had been pretty quiet. The kids had been playing outside (much as they do everyday), both before and after dinner, and my husband had given me some baby-free time, holding her on his chest while he monitored the playing situation outside. I savored my quiet time inside, taking care of some much-needed things with two arms instead of one. After a while, everyone came in to eat dinner, but promptly went back outside.
Everyone except Baby Dude.
Baby Dude had come inside before dinner. Unbeknownst to me, my daughters had both known he had a “hegg (head) ache,” and he wanted to come inside because of it. No one had told me. I thought he was just getting tired from being outside all day after being up so early with me. This kid is a bruiser, man. If a “hegg ache” is stopping him from playing outside with his siblings and friends, there’s a problem, but I didn’t know. He picked through his dinner a bit, and promptly got down to fall asleep on the guest bed in the playroom loft upstairs moments later.
He laid so peacefully on his mat, I didn’t want to wake him, but I had to, I couldn’t leave him feverish through the night. I woke him gently with a dropper filled with ibuprofen to give him. After a few tries to get him to acknowledge it, he drank it down and turned to his side to go back to sleep, but not before holding my hand. Even in his sleep, he holds my hand. I wanted to cry.
It amazes me how much bigger his hand looks now that his baby sister is here. He looks so much bigger to me, no longer the little baby I kept envisioning in my head. But no matter how big he appears to look to me now, he is and will always be my baby. They all will.
Sick or well, happy or sad, I feel myself fighting so hard to capture these moments in my head. I want to write and document everything, photograph the exact moments like a screenshot, SNAP! Keep them tucked away in a file inside my computer-brain. Except it doesn’t work that way anymore. My brain fails me, it doesn’t remember every whisper, every piece of hair, every motion and facial expression. My typed words, chronicling all the moments, they don’t fail me. It’s why I do what I do, here. It’s why I fight so hard for writing time, for journalling time, for chronicling time. Life might be decades, but the time flies by, it’s too short, moments fleeting, but words and pictures remain.
I want to sit back with my kids someday and re-read what I’ve written here, and laugh. And cry. And remember it all through my writer-eye. I don’t want to miss a moment.