Every night, when I am lucky, I get to smell the gentle scent of baby powder inside my left arm.
When I’m fortunate, the embrace of this sensation does not elude me.
Too often, though, it does.
I tell myself, when I think of it, he is my chance to relive his sister’s time as a baby … and live, for the first time, whatever I missed with her. I look back upon these times in her life at videos and pictures and birthday cards and artwork and wish I could have that moment again, whatever it was – that trying, difficult and beautiful time. I cannot.
When I pray, which is not often as I should, I ask God to remind me I will be wanting to live these beautiful times with him again someday, these beautiful times and moments. I hope remembering this will help me forget about the rest: how tired I am at the end of the day, how badly the house needs cleaned, what football game is on TV. I am no good at this.
I do not deserve him. I do not deserve her, or her or him. I’ve become too concerned with what I think I need to consistently appreciate any of them as they deserve. We all need each other – and that’s all. They all need me as much as I need them. And that is 100 percent.
God has blessed us all with the means for his mother to stay home with him each day. Each morning, I wake up alone, have some coffee and prepare myself for work, waking his brother and sister before nudging his mother to life so she can take them to school. I kiss them goodbye and stand over Kalob’s crib, refraining from touching him in fear of waking him before Momma’s out of bed. It will be nearly 12 hours until I see them all again.
Do I realize this enough? Does it, often as it should, make me cherish the few hours I get with them each day while we’re all awake? Does it make me want to call in sick to work when I am healthy?
No. Rarely. Never. In that order.
Tonight, I will try following my own instructions for the older children in their bedtime prayers and thank God for something instead of making a request. I will thank Him for the baby powder smell in the crook of my arm, where he laid his soft, bald head two hours after his bath and minutes after his nighttime bottle. I will thank God for his tiny laugh. I will thank God for my babies and a woman who loves me …