His head rests gently over my shoulder, his shoulder curving around my neck. The arm on the outside of his body drapes over my shoulder and I can feel his fingertips brush the back of my arm. My neck fits snuggly, like his body was created to be cradled. I rest my head on his head. He breathes deeply. He had come over and lifted his chubby little arms up to me, his eyes bright with expectation. I could tell he knew I would lift him up. I would hold him despite being uncomfortably 39 weeks pregnant. I would hold him despite not feeling well. I would hold him even though it is 2 hours past his bedtime, and I am ready to be resting. I would hold him because today, our friends buried their 7 month old, and they will never be able to hold him again. I snuggled him close to me, and felt the warmth of his back. My hand hesitated to feel him breathe – that breath of life – another day God has given us with this precious treasure. I couldn’t hold back my tears. Tears of grief for that family, and tears of joy for my child. He lifted his head and drew both arms around my neck in one big hug. Too little to understand, and yet demonstrating love so perfectly.
I pray for one more day with this child. I pray that I am awakened to actually live in the moment, to cherish the times we have, and to let go of the dishes, baths, laundry and meals. I pray that I notice the small moments, the tender kiss of a child, the relentless requests for assistance because they think I can do anything. I pray that I bring them up to love the Lord. I pray that I am as strong of a witness to God’s grace and mercy as that mother was today in all of her pain and anguish. May I love these children more because I know we are given precious seconds, and each second matters in the building and living of a life. May these seconds be slow – slow enough to treasure, slow enough to savor, slow enough to see. To really see.