Then the guilt crashes in, wave upon wave, and I think of another mother some 70 miles away in a hospital room watching her just-turned-3-year-old baby fight for his very life, praying for the liver that WILL save him.
And I think of my grandmother who lost her 62-year-old son, who, even though he was a grown man with his own grandchildren, never ceased being her baby. And I think of my mother-in-law, who lost her 18-year-old son in a car accident. Many years later, she continues to laugh and cry, live a happy life, breathing in and out, but never quite outruns the sorrow.
Then the tenderness and overwhelming realness get all tangled in the sadness and the aching...ache I feel looking at my own nearly three-year-old cherub-faced daughter.
I gather my three up in my chair, even my growny six-year-old boy who still welcomes my hugs and kisses and snuggles.
And I look at their tiny noses and their long eyelashes and my littlest baby's natural pout, and I feel so awful that I don't bundle them all with me into my chair more often.
And I tell them, through messy, snarfled tears, with words that can't even touch being enough that I love them so so so much.
And I know I'll be aggravated and tired and cranky/hormonal another day, but in this moment, I’m just so thankful for this moment.