I lean my nose down and sniff Drew’s head in the early morning hours while he nurses away and try to think of a single thing that’s ever smelled so good in my life. I can’t. I want to bottle that smell. I want to remember the feel of his tiny hand around my thumb and the way his breathing slows down the minute he begins to nurse. I want to watch him fall asleep in my arms a million more times. I want to memorize every word Franky says and the way he says them. He is beginning to string words together and pronouncing more and more things correctly, which breaks my heart just a little bit. He climbs onto the couch and shouts “Mama! Mama! Mama!” until I look up from what I am doing, then dives off and with a look of triumph waits for my approving applause.
I could cry just thinking about all of this coming to an end, and yet I know it will.
Motherhood is such a strange mixture of extreme ecstasy tinged with pain. I heard it once said that having children is like your beating heart leaping out of your chest and walking around, bare and exposed to the world, blood gushing everywhere. And in a way it is true. I am dying a slow death I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I want you to know, baby boys, that no one will ever love you with as much ferocity as your mother. I am nowhere close to perfect but I will never give up. My love for you is stronger than any of my shortcomings. I want you to feel that every day. Can you feel it?