Our bedtime routine since Lucy joined us has mostly consisted of Paul lying down with Charlie as he falls asleep. A few nights ago, however, Lucy was sleeping so I decided to be the one to join him. After brushing his teeth, I asked him which stuffed animal he wanted to snuggle.

“Do you want to snuggle Ollie the elephant?”
“No.”
“Do you want to snuggle Zelda?”
“No!”
“You don’t want to snuggle anybody?”
“I want to snuggle Mommy.”

Oof, my heart.

When we got under the blankets, he wrapped his arms around my neck and put his face on my face. It’s not the most comfortable position for me, but it’s just so sweet.

He closed his eyes and said “I wuv you, Mommy.”

Laying down with him at night has been pretty tough for me lately. I mean, you know your baby’s getting bigger. It’s just a constant whisper in the back of your mind as you go about your day-to-day activities . . . but when you’ve got a tiny, new little reminder that your kid used to be so tiny and now he’s so not anymore, the feelings become a little more intense.

His cheeks used to have that smooth, shiny-feeling that comes with being a baby. Sometime within the last month, they’ve changed. They’re still soft, but it feels like more of a matte finish . . . almost like a porcelain doll. I don’t have anything significant to say about that . . . I can just tell that it’s changed.

It’s also getting more difficult to pick him up. At first I thought it was just because I’d had surgery, but after I got stronger and watched his body and face fill out, I realized that he’s just getting bigger. I used to carry this guy everywhere and now I can barely hold him up for ten minutes.

He’s even started calling me “Mom” instead of “Mommy.” I have no idea when this started happening. I know it’s just a difference of two tiny letters, but when he murmured “Mommy” the other night as he fell asleep, his arms all wrapped around me, I felt my heart fill up just a little in the places I thought were getting empty.

It was a nice moment, and I’m starting to wonder if moments, even the tiniest ones, are more important than the big picture. Or maybe the big picture just wouldn’t be worth it without them.