This morning I opened the door to my son’s room at 6:33am to find him fast asleep. I know by now that if he doesn’t wake up on his own, we’re in for a morning of tantrums–and that will only make us late. So I snuggled in next to him and put my arm around him, leaving my hand on his sweet toddler chest. Listening to his breath go in… and out. Feeling his chest rise… and fall. In and out. Rise and fall.
I often do this when he’s sleeping. I know he can sense my presence and that will start to wake him a little. But for the first minute or three, he is fast asleep. In these moments, I am always reminded of his lungs. His precious miracle lungs. It may seem an odd thought, but Charlie was born three weeks early, and I remember thinking that his lungs may not be ready. I remember learning at some point in my pregnancy that lungs are one of the last things to develop–and babies born early often have respiratory problems. So to me, the lungs in his chest feel like the icing on the cake. The final detail. The last little miracle before the miracle of his birth.
The chapter of pregnancies and births is over for me–and I imagine I will always mourn that a little. But in the quiet couple of minutes before my son starts to rouse, when only the sound of his sweet breath fills my ears, I am awestruck by this miracle of life that is my child. And though he grows bigger and taller and smarter every day–with my hand on his chest, rising and falling, he is always and forever my miracle baby.