I breathe him in. Sweet, freshly scrubbed little boy, a lingering scent of shampoo on his slightly damp hair. I rest my lips on his round, still baby-ish cheeks, so soft and smooth, free of the bumps and blemishes that will come someday with puberty. I kiss him gently, not wanting him to stir, but once I start I cannot stop the kisses. Cheeks, eyelids, forehead. I whisper a prayer of thanks and blessing over my sleeping, youngest boy. He is not so little anymore. Only a few more months to be six, and so tall for his age. How hard he tries to keep up with his older siblings! Yet as I watch his chest gently rise and fall with the measured breathing of peaceful sleep, he looks every bit the youngest. Curled in a familiar sideways fetal position, he reminds me of all my babies, and how I watched them sleep when they were little and new. I savor the moment, storing up this memory, and thank God for giving me one more.....
One more baby. One more child of my heart. One more who is still young enough to want to hold my hand, and sit on my lap. Someday all my boys will be grown men, and it will be difficult to distinguish who is younger and who is older, but for now I revel in having one who is so obviously the youngest. One more whispered prayer. One more kiss. One more "I love you."
One more long inhale of his sweet little boy-ness.
Thank you, Lord.