Everyone knows that when a baby falls asleep, you should put him in his crib and either take a nap yourself or do one of the other million things on your list… but I often don’t.

I don’t know how many more chances I will have to look down and gaze at this tiny face in my arms. I might blink and realize he is fifteen and too big or too cool to fall asleep in my lap. If I don’t listen, I might forget what it sounds like to hear these tiny puffs of breath, breath that smells something like sugar or hazelnut. It’s no wonder they’ve named a flower after it. How is it that babies smell so good?

If I lay him in his crib, I would miss the occasional happy sigh, the sleepy smile that flickers across his peaceful face as he dreams (of what, I wonder?). I wouldn’t feel his tiny fingers search for a fold of my shirt or my thumb to grasp. I might not catch that first waking glimpse or the grin that follows when he realizes I’m still there.

So even though there are dishes to wash and laundry to fold, I hold my child instead, watching him sleep, whispering a prayer of gratitude.

Thank you, Lord, for this child, this blessing.
Keep him safe and show me how to raise him.
Let him always know how much he is loved.

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