August 19, 2013

Sandcastles


"I sometimes wake in the early morning 
& listen to the soft breathing of my child & I think to myself, 
this is one thing I will never regret 
& I carry that quiet with me all day long." 
— Brian Andreas
When the darkness in our bedroom begins dissipating and the soft, yellow sunrise pools in patches across our quilt, Walter usually stirs. There's a rustle and small, contented baby sounds. He looks up at me expectantly, with round eyes like big blue buttons. It's my cue.

I pick him up from the little wicker bassinet next to our bed, the same bassinet that's held nearly every sleeping baby in our family since before my dad was born. He snuggles in next to me, and we have a quiet moment or two to study each other's faces in the morning light. But soon, his eyes flutter a few times and close. He sighs, a smile flickers across his face once or twice, and he is content beside me for another hour or two.

It's become my favorite time of the day. So much serenity and sweetness comes from feeling those little breaths on my arm, or the push of tiny feet against my stomach. I've teared up more than once about thinking about these times ending. For someone who loathes the early hours, I've found so much joy in soaking them in with my baby boy.

But sooner than I'd like, the day begins.

Not just begins- it rushes in. It's breakfast, and two little ones want to eat at the same time. One needs dressed while the other just spit up. I flip on the coffeemaker after they're both settled down, but more challenges and monumental tragedies need addressed before I ever pour a cup. And after a morning full of meltdowns, reminders, consequences, and microwaved, lukewarm coffee, it's already time for lunch. We buzz through the days this way, like frantic bees who often get stuck in their own honey. She tells me that she wants another drink, and I tell her, again, that she can't. I get frustrated and worn down, and then feel guilty about feeling frustrated. And I'm too tired to read the library books I promised her would. And he needs to be fed and changed again anyway. I struggle to remember, not what it was like before they were here, but what it was like to have a moment to pause and think. These days feel like a never ending marathon.

And then, she whispers to him in the backseat on the way home.
"Walter, the moon is up. So that means you have to go night night, okay?"

She asks for one more hug before I turn off the light and carry him away. He smiles that crooked, half-smile he's been practicing, and she giggles and kisses his forehead. He coos. She giggles again.

Then the day is over and the night is too short. The weeks and months fall faster than drops from a leaky faucet. And the years wash away like a sandcastle on the edge of the ocean waves, beautiful and grand and time consuming and then gone.

They take so long to build, these minutes between sunrise and sunset. But they go oh, so fast.



13 kind comments from you:

Jen said...

Every time I read something you have written it makes me happy. You have such a beautiful way of expressing emotions and experiences.

Alissa said...

"They take so long to build, these minutes between sunrise and sunset. But they go oh, so fast." Love this. So beautifully written!

Kaylee said...

Yes. This. Thank you.

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

Wonderful Erika, thank you so much for sharing pieces of yourself with the world.

Jenn said...

"The days are long, but the years are short," and you just said that in such a beautiful way.

Katie said...

It's been a long time since I've told you this, but always remember how absolutely beautiful your writing is. You have such a talent.

Chantal said...

Such a beautiful post!

Vanessa said...

Your words are beautiful -- Love this line: "We buzz through the days this way, like frantic bees who often get stuck in their own honey."

Mrs.B said...

Beautiful and so true.

Jamie said...

This is so beautiful and true.

The Cross Family Adventures said...

Wow! You are a very talented writer! You brought me back to when my little one was just a month old! Aw how I have baby fever! I am a new follower, thanks to Mil-blogging group on FB. Can't wait to read more! (: Thanks for such a beautiful post

Fran said...

Stop being such a beautiful writer, please and thank you.

Michelle said...

Stop making me want to do away with all birth control. Your blog is one of the single reasons I can't get my baby fever under control.

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