02/18/2015 12:16 pm ET Updated Apr 20, 2015

Why I Love That 2 A.M. Feeding

Rachel Toalson

It's quiet, and it's dark and it's only you and me.

All day long, your brothers have pulled and demanded and captured my time while you have slept and dreamed and grown, little by little by little.

But right now is our time, because brothers are sleeping and Daddy is snoring beside us and the whole world is silently breathing its way toward morning.

And it doesn't matter that I'm so exhausted or that I will wake again in three hours to start the morning whirlwind of a school day. It only matters that you are here with me, that you are looking at me with those eyes that just might stay blue this time, that I can kiss a tiny face back into sleep once a belly is full.

It doesn't matter that all day, I have poured milk for your brothers and cooked breakfasts and lunches and cleaned up after dinner, that I will do it all again in too little time. It only matters that there is this quiet, still moment when I get to hold you and only you, when I get to talk softly to you and only you, when I get to stare at you and only you.

Your brothers, they used to be you once, and I know exactly how this will go, because they used to enjoy the holding and the talking and the kissing and the staring, and now they are too big for laps and too busy for talking and too old for kissing and staring.

This will go fast and sharp and bittersweet.

So I will have you to myself, for this one moment in time.

I bend to kiss you and it is overwhelming, the love that cracks a whole heart wide open, again, because you are tiny, and you are last and you are just 13 days old. I bend to kiss you again, and it is overwhelming, the sadness, because you are tiny, and you are last and I know your peaceful sleep in my arms won't last forever. Not even close.

So I will take time where I can.

And here it is, in the dark of early morning, when everyone else sleeps and you meet me, for the thirteenth time.

I hold you close, longer that I would if I were concerned about sleep, longer than I would if I were thinking of the day ahead and all the challenges it will likely hold.

Because this is our time, you and me.

So what the clock tells me makes no difference whatsoever, because we are together and this time belongs to you. Only you. This time is frozen. Sacred. Beautiful. It widens the heart of a mama so another little boy can take his seat inside.

I drink every moment, every breath, every flicker of a smile, every stretch. I watch you feed, touching the soft skin of your cheek, feeling the weight of you in the crook of my arm, memorizing the curve of that nose and the flutter of an eye that blinks open and shut again beneath the soft glow of a lamp.

I gaze and soak and adore, oblivious to time's ticking, because some things transcend time.

Like a 2 a.m. feeding.

And when you are done, when I am done, I kiss your face once more and wrap my arms just a little tighter, and then I fold the blanket around your still-tiny-for-today body and put you back to sleep, whispering the words I always whisper when our time has met its end:

See you at 2 a.m., my love.

This post first appeared on Crash Test Parents.