My little baby has proven not to be so little anymore. I am pretty sure that over this trip to India he has like doubled in size and he's got this Mr. Independent thing down. I was reading just the other day about how important it is to be present and all in with your babe 10 minutes after they wake up in the morning, 10 minutes before/after nap time and 10 minutes before bed. That's the time when they love lots of eye contact, snuggles and having you all to themselves. I get it, I only have one kid, I have no advice for those who have more than one since that thought is so overwhelming for me just yet, haha. I've started being more intentional about this within the last few days before his naps and then he made my heart skip a beat.
So side note - when Aaron and I started dating very early on, he began stroking my hand and I his for the first time as we talked about the big and little things in life. Ever since that moment, that's always been our thing. It's a way of saying "I'm here" without ever actually saying a word and I love it.
So back to Ren and I - the last few days while I've been putting Ren down for his morning naps, I've tried to be more present with him, whether that looks like staring at each other, talking about all the things that go on in a one year old's little mind or just snuggling before he goes down, I'm there and all his. I was holding him close to my chest and began to run my fingers over his pudgy little hand and immediately he began doing the same back to me… This went on for about 5 minutes without saying a word as he just stared at me and began drifting off to sleep. Insert heart undone. There will never be anything sweeter than when he responds to my love. It gets me every time.
Let's be honest, babies need a lot and very rarely show how thankful or grateful they are. They have no idea how much work it is to change hundreds of diapers, or how difficult it is to operate on such little sleep or how exhausting it can be to parent, correct and pour out more of yourself than you ever thought you had. And then moments like that happen and you realize that you are making a difference. That your voice is the loudest one they hear. And that although they don't say or maybe even show it as they gain independence and explore the big world around them, they love you with their whole heart and you are more needed than you'll ever know.