waking up with noah

Since the day we moved him from his bedside bassinet to the crib in his very own room when he was only months old, Noah spends the first moments of every day in our bed. Sometimes we lay there half asleep for an hour before we commit to the day; sometimes he bombards our quiet dark room with a handful of honking toy cars and a fiery abundance of energy that I can only dream of having at the peak of my best day. Regardless, the disruption has become the most constant and welcome part of our daily routine. 

The last few weeks, as my almost-six-months-pregnant belly becomes nearly impossible to ignore even in the pitch darkness of 5:45 a.m., our routine is beginning to take subtle changes. Since he could walk, Noah has waited at my side of the bed, inches from my face, for me to wake up and lift him into the covers. Recently he's noticed the new kind of energy and awkward twisting it requires from me, so he's taken it upon himself to climb in on his own. These days he no longer squeezes in between my arms with his head on my chest, but instead lays his head (and his cars and his animals) right on the center of my belly and waits for the strange bumps and kicks and movements from the mysterious little creature growing inside of his mommy.

As he laid there today, mesmerized by the flutters of his baby brother, I couldn't help but realize that our mornings together, just the two of us, are limited. In four months, another little human will share the space that Noah has always had to himself - the space where he receives my full, uninterrupted attention before the day's issues arise and inevitably steal part of it away, where he doesn't have to share me with Daddy, where nothing is between us but the blankets and toys that he lugged in from the night before.

For the last couple years, I've been unnervingly anxious to give Noah a sibling - a partner that will share his space and toys and experiences and become his lifelong friend. Now that I'm finally cooking up a tiny being to fill that role, my anxiousness has only grown. I am so eager to give Noah this gift and watch how he adjusts to the new dynamic. But at the same time, I am very aware, as Emmett makes his presence known in my belly, that I'll be giving up a part of the intimate, one-on-one relationship that I've shared with my Noah for years. And while I have no doubt that our bond will only grow stronger as we help each other through this transition, the realization makes me feel desperate to soak up every last second of our quiet moments together. 

Maybe it's just the emotions that pregnancy is known to bring on, maybe it's just motherhood, but I was painfully aware of these things this morning and felt that I had to grasp onto the moment as tightly as possible so as to remember it when life gets chaotic and requires more attention than I have to give. I want to always remember that Noah was the one that started it all. He showed me how to be a mom; how to be patient, how to allow myself room for mistakes. He showed me how to deeply love someone who needs everything from you and can only reciprocate with quiet, genuine, intimate cuddles at 5:45 in the morning. And for that, his future siblings and I will be forever grateful.