The lights are out and only the soft glow of the television shines on his face. While he falls asleep I study him. I look at every hair in his eyebrows, every eyelash and each twitch of his lips. His body is getting heavier and I can feel it all coming to an end. Soon I won't be able to hold him while he falls asleep. Soon he won't want me to. So I continue to take mental pictures of this time. The way his mouth falls slightly open when he is finally asleep. The weight of his head as he falls deeper and deeper. The squeeze of my hand as he drifts off. I want to remember this moment, this feeling. The complete and utter happiness that I feel in this exact moment. When I can hold him and remember that he's still just my little boy.
Someday he will belong to someone else. He'll fall in love and have his own family and while I hope to always be "home" to him, he won't be mine anymore. And that's how it should be. But the thought of it makes my stomach plummet into my feet.
Things aren't always easy and somedays I feel like I may scream if I'm touched one more time. But every single night as he falls asleep in my arms, all of those other feelings wash away. He stares as me just before he drifts off and I can feel it then- he loves these moments as much as I do. He feels safe, and so do I.
So that dimple in his chin, the wispiness of his hair, the rise and fall of his chest, the heartbeat that feels nearly double mine, I want to remember it all. I want to stop time and ensure that this image, this feeling is trapped forever in my mind. Free to access and relive whenever I need it. For those days when he is no longer mine. But for right now, tonight, he is. He is my baby boy, my son, the greatest love I've ever known.