Gabe woke up whimpering around 4:30am.
He's teething and seems to now also have a cold. James cuddled with him till about 5:15, and gave him some Tylenol. I crawled out of bed then (it's J's day to sleep in) and took Gabe downstairs.
After breakfast and an early viewing of Blue's Clues, we went to play in the living room.
He was a tired, snotty, unhappy little dude.
He curled up on my lap and leaned on my chest.
We listened to Bobby McFerrin tell us not to worry and as I softly sang along, Gabe fell asleep in my arms.
I was so tired (whose idea was it to stay up late watching a crap movie, anyway?), had to pee, was already fantasizing about a nap later and also wanted to freeze this moment forever.
As I sat there holding him it struck me that this is it.
This is love. This is parenting. It's that sweet moment that may be the product of unpleasant circumstances. It's holding a firefly for a second, catching the light and letting it go again, not sure when you will see it again.
I know families whose moments of light come from far darker circumstances of illness (physical and mental), hospitalizations, financial hardship and so on.
And at the same time, hard is not relative; hard is hard.
We are all moving through our own rhythms with our own challenges, life stresses, painful gums, and early mornings.
And today I am grateful for the moment of comfort I could give Gabe and in turn the solace it gave me.