Editor's note: Tomorrow is my sweet boy's second birthday. Where does the time go? This re-post is for him.
Tomorrow I have to go to my doctor's office and drink that gaggy orange drink they make you guzzle in order to figure out if you have gestational diabetes. I am supposed to take it easy on the sugar today as to not induce a false reading, which is why I am currently eating sorbet before starting the required fast at midnight. I wish I were braver, like my mother, who simply refused to take the test. I don't have gestational diabetes. But I'm going to gulp down the hyper-sugared soda anyway, because the doctor says so, and it's what you do.
It's funny the things we do that create patterns. Exercises, requirements, necessary forms to fill out that make a structure for our lives. Some of these are imposed by others for our own good, or for order, or for our money (standing in line to get my motor vehicle registration comes to mind), who knows exactly why. But there are some things we do over and over that are not forced upon us by someone else. They are things that we choose for ourselves.
Almost every night I put my son down to sleep in his little bed in my room. He knows that after we have read stories with his sisters and tucked them in that soon it will be his turn. My room is not his final resting place, thank goodness. He sleeps in the same room with said sisters but I don't put him in his crib at first because it always takes the girls awhile to fall asleep. Innocent boy that he is, he hasn't yet learned the fun of staying up and awake in the dark, and I don't want him to learn that yet (or ever, for that matter, but it's kind of inevitable). So I take him into my room and lay him down and pull his blanket over him. I tell him I love him and that I'll be back in awhile to carry him up to bed, and then I turn off the lamp and shut the door, and he goes to sleep.
Ben has offered to carry the little guy up to bed for me a few times these past couple weeks and I have thanked, but no-thanked him. He admitted that he may not have the same touch I have for transferring sleeping baby from play pen to crib without disturbing the slumbering child. But that's not why I refuse Ben's offer.
I do it because in not too long I won't be able to carry my baby up, his little body snuggled into mine, his head nestled by my neck. I treasure this little nightly routine we have; holding him tight as I walk up the narrow staircase into his room where I put him in bed and kiss him goodnight. In a few months my expanding belly will make it more difficult, and then near impossible to bend down and pick him up. And walking up those stairs won't be very fun. When that happens I will hand over the job to Ben, and let him carry on the ritual. But until then, this pattern of life is all mine.