Motherhood at 6:41AM

At 6:41 in the morning my first baby softly pads into my bedroom. I know I should be hard, send him back to his cold toddler bed for the last 19 minutes of night. But I’m not. He’s damp, couldn’t make it those last 19 minutes. The cat scared him. I strip him of his damp jammies and he carefully climbs into our big grown up bed. His soft young skin brushes mine as he curls into me. He clings to me, around the swollen belly holding my last baby. She gently kicks as if she knows she’s surrounded, he doesn’t notice. He curls so close Im reminded of carrying him. When I could keep him so safe, so protected from life. For 19 minutes I relish a rare moment. Holding both my babies, wrapped around me, skin to skin, womb to mother. For these minutes I can shield them both, cover them both, hold them both. I intended to fall back to sleep. Instead I stay awake thinking that I must remember every moment of this feeling. But 7:00 comes. My first baby, my small boy, jerks awake and announces he needs to poop and watch trains. His sister rolls over inside me. My alarm calls. We begin our daily march to their independence. But I still relish. For 19 minutes on a cold December morning I held all three of my hearts, nurtured all three of my souls.