The sun shines through the living room windows and he crawls up on the couch next to me, freshly woken from a not-long-enough nap. I notice an eyelash on his cheek as he quickly spots my headphones. I turn on James Morrison and put one earbud in his ear, the other in mine. His ocean blue eyes light up and a smile creeps across his face.
We sit there together, foreheads touching, listening to the same song. He pulls the speaker away from his ear, and then puts it back again with wide eyes. Back and forth, like magic, figuring out the way the world works. He sways his tiny body on my lap, dancing and looking at me for approval.
I always approve of dancing.
And it is there, with Everett in my lap and a single headphone in one ear, that the sheer magnitude of motherhood hits me. That there is no turning back from this point, no do-overs, no second chances. From this point forward, for the rest of my days, I have this one life on earth to love my son and to love him well.
I feel the significance of it with every fiber of my being, the greatness of this all-consuming love that makes my heart beat and ache at the same time. It overwhelms me in the most wonderful and terrifying way to think that God has trusted me with this tiny child. I feel undeserving, ill-equipped, unprepared, and grateful beyond measure.
Sometimes I get lost in the sippy cups and the spilled applesauce on the kitchen floor and the naps that are never, ever long enough. Sometimes I get lost in the frustration, in the exhaustion, in the neediness and constant mess.
But these are the days, you know? These are the moments my entire life is made of—tiny pockets of time that feel like pure magic. How else can you describe the way a toddler looks at you in complete wonderment with headphones in his ears?
This time is short, a fleeting gift. Soon headphones will just be headphones and he’ll be too big to sit in my lap. That thought pierces me in a hundred different ways.
So for now, for today, we will sit on the couch together with James Morrison streaming through the headphones. We will sway and smile and ignore that pile of laundry over there. We will soak up this moment, this magic, for all it’s worth.