The Rocking Chair by Sarah Ezrin

Sarah Ezrin

I watch his tiny breath rise and fall. My heart melts. I soak it in slowly.

Forward and back

I glance at the clock. My heart races. Why won’t he sleep? This is taking too long.

Forward and back

I touch my nose gently against his scalp. The most delicious scent I have ever smelt. I could be here forever.

Forward and back

I look across the room at the pile of unfolded laundry. I have so much to do. I can’t be here forever.

Forward and back

I hold the back of his body against me. I miss when he would face inward and sleep on my chest. He’s getting so curious now. He prefers to look out. To see the world. It’s changing so fast. Make time stand still.

Forward and back

Make time speed up. When will he fall asleep? I have a deadline to meet, a to-do list to conquer.

Forward and back

I study his entire body from head to toe. The little feet I love to kiss. The little tummy I love to rub. The little face I love to touch. He’s already different.

Please don’t change.

Forward and back

I start to think about when he is older. I start imagining all the things we can do together. How much easier life will be when he is more independent.

Change sooner.

Forward and back

He looks up to me with giant eyes filled with love. I see myself so clearly in them. Is this how he sees me?

Never stop looking at me like this.

Forward and back

Stop looking at me. Go to sleep.

Is that a blink or are his eyelids finally drooping? Why won’t he close his eyes?

And then he does.

The pacifier falls out of his mouth as a huge sleepy grin half-moons across his face. He lets out a shuddered sigh and his body falls limp.

I start to slow my rocking.

I come to a stop.

I am about to place him in his crib and run toward all the things that need to be done. I can feel them almost calling me: Dishes. Laundry. Texts to return. Phone calls to make. Emails to send. Television shows to watch. A sip of water. Food.

Instead, I look down at this magical little creature. He is growing up before my very eyes. I turn him around and place his head against my chest. He does not resist. He melts into an even deeper slumber.

I pull the lever on the side of the chair, making it recline, and close my eyes.

No more forward and back.

I will be right here.