Last week, D was doing chores and Jady was asleep. It was still and quiet in the house and I felt lonely. So I snuck upstairs, tiptoed over to Jade's crib and did something I never do: I eased her out, tucked her into my arms, crept over to my bed and cuddled with her for an hour.
She barely stirred - thankfully she's a sound sleeper! - and it was so good to feel her warmth, her heartbeat against my breast again. She's been weaned since May, and while I don't miss the middle-of-the-night feedings, I do miss the easy intimacy nursing afforded us.
Jade is a busy girl. The only time she's content to sit in my lap without wriggling around like a fish out of water is when she's tired (or asleep!). And then I'm in Mummy heaven. Her downy blonde head smells like honey; her chubby toes curl and uncurl when I stroke them with my finger. She still sucks two fingers and sometimes she looks up at me with an undescribable expression her sapphire eyes. And to think that ten years ago, I was convinced I didn't want children...
Lying in bed with Jade the other night, I was struck to my core with a strange blend of deep joy and profound grief. I couldn't help but think of how my other two lost little ones should be there with us, cuddled in my arms with as much right to be there as Jade. So I allowed myself the luxury of closing my eyes and imagining their presence - what their scent, their warmth, their own personalities might have been like. I think those few minutes of fantasy defined the term bittersweet for me; I'm learning that so much in motherhood is exactly that.