We lay in his little bed together. A tangled mess of limbs wrapped around each other. We whispered our good nights, our prayers, our I love you’s.
He was stalling, as he so often does. “One more story mommy, one more book, one more snuggle, one more kiss.”
I laid there, shifting my pregnant body back and forth, attempting to get comfortable—the impossible. I knew these moments, these snuggles, these “just him and I” moments were coming to an end.
“I love you, baby,” I told him.
“How much?” he said.
“To the moon and back.” I replied.
He laid there, silent for a moment, pondering.
“Mommy,” he whispered, “I love you bigger than my body.”
Those words, off of those tiny lips. Out of the mouth of my then 3-year-old. “I love you bigger than my body.”
How did he know? It was exactly what I was trying to communicate, exactly how I felt, feel, will always feel. I love you more than words can express. I love you in an outside of my body sort of way. I love every inch, I love you so much that I want to freeze time and hold you. I love you so much that I want to stop the world’s rotation, stop the demands of daily life, stop it all just to stare into your beautiful blue eyes. I love you, I love you.
A tear found its way from my eye to my cheek. I can’t stop it, time, the passing of days. I can’t make him little again. We will never again live yesterday. It’s always tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. And then somehow it becomes next month, year, so on and so forth.
I try my best to suck in each moment. To savor it all. I find myself constantly reorganizing, recalibrating my life to spend more and more time with my babies. I say “no”—at first I felt so guilty about this, and now say it shamelessly. “No. I cannot make that trip, do that thing, go that place. No.”
I hate disappointing people. I hate these no’s, but I’m blinking and they’re growing. I take my “me time” but once I’ve had it I long, in a bigger than my body sort of way, to get home and spend time with these little people that “love me bigger than their bodies.”
No one else loves me bigger than their body. They may appreciate my work, my efforts, my writing, my whatever, but nothing I do, can do, will do, will ever make them love me bigger than their body.
This is not a complete surrender of self. This is not the stifling of dreams nor aspirations, it is just so exactly what it is. A season of stopping, savoring, loving, and holding. A season which will fade into something else, something—I’m hoping—lovely. Until then, I’ll hold these little ones and whisper into their little ears, “I love you bigger than my body.”