Sixteen Pound Weight
There's a sixteen pound weight on my chest. I'm afraid to move for fear of waking him from his dreams. He seems so content, there on my chest where before he was so restless. I placed him there and rubbed his back and he sighed and fell asleep. His every breath, double to my single, pushes into my stomach as I exhale. His breathing has slowed and he has finally reached sleep. Is it time to move him to his own bed?
He stirs, he pops his head up, rubs his eyes, and collapses his head back down as if the weight of it was too much to hold up in this exhaustive state. And there it is again, the slow, melodic breaths. It's time.
I hold him as tight as I can to my chest as I slither off the couch, careful that he doesn't feel any sudden movements. I walk stealthily to his room, on my tiptoes lest he hear the sound of my overly exhausted feet dragging. I stand up as high as I can so that I'm up and over the crib, and I place him gently down. He stirs for a second realizing the warmth of his Mom is no longer close. I rub his belly. He rubs his eyes. I take a couple steps back in case he opens his eyes so that he doesn't see me. And I watch. I watch as he stretches out his little limbs as far as they will go, just as he did when he was a newborn realizing he was no longer in my cramped womb. I watch him continue to rub his eyes. I watch him shift around to find a comfortable position. And when I'm satisfied that he's drifting back off to sleep, it's time to make my exit.
As quietly as I can, I back step out of the room and close the door, praying that it doesn't squeak and wake him. And then I sit back on the sofa and watch on the monitor. Is he really asleep? Is he going to wake up at any moment wanting to be held again?
And if he does, we'll start all over. Because that sixteen pound weight on my chest leaves me feeling the lightest I've ever felt.