Nap time travel

Newborn kangaroo care
At a week old, Peeper spent much of her day snuggled against my chest.

Every mother has a magic patch of skin. It’s easy to find: It’s the skin below your clavicle—your décolletage—which is, not coincidentally, right above your heart.

It’s magic because it has the ability to transport a mother back in time.

The other day, I went in to Peeper’s bedroom when I heard her wake up from a nap. She was crying, so I gathered her in my arms, sat back in the glider and started singing. She nestled into me, and her face snuggled right against the skin left bare by my v-neck shirt.

With the instant ease of a key turning in an oiled lock, my heart opened.

The best feelings of motherhood—awe, gratitude, love that practically blinds you as it shines out from every pore—washed over me. I inhaled Peeper’s scent, a mix of shampoo and toddler sweat with just a hint of peanut butter. And I was suddenly the brand-new mother of a newborn.Like most babies, Peeper spent a lot of time snuggled against my chest. She seemed comforted by the closeness, and I was, too. After all, I’d spent the last 40 weeks with her growing inside me, and having her so near was the next best thing.

The benefits of kangaroo care—nestling a mostly-naked baby against a caregiver’s bare skin—are well documented: Kangaroo care helps Baby by regulating her heart beat, improving breastfeeding, reducing rates of infection and quieting crying, among many other things. And it’s great for moms and dads, too. The practice speeds bonding and confidence in parenting, and it boosts a mother’s breast milk supply.

Medical literature didn’t cross my mind as toddler-Peeper snoozed against me, though. Neither did my to-do list.

And all the difficult, heart-tearing, frustrating parts of motherhood that sometimes make you want to give up—or at least hide under the covers for a while? Those were forgotten, too.

I was awash in the pure bliss of being a mom. Of having a tiny person find comfort in me. Of letting everything else in the world disappear, if only for a few minutes, while I held my child.

Those moments of being truly present don’t come too often in our house, which is more dominated by the distractions of bills and deadlines and skipped naps and a million broken crayons scattered across the carpet.

Thankfully, though, they’re only a tiny patch of skin away.

0 thoughts on “Nap time travel

  • June 3, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    So great and beautifully written! I shared one of those moments with my son today. Sometimes snuggling with Mommy just makes everything better. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that I offer that level of comfort to my precious boy.

    • June 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Thank you, Monica! I’m glad you got a special moment like this one, too.

  • June 4, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Awww… So sweet! Caleb is NOT a snuggler so this makes me so miss him as a newborn, snuggling into me. Is it too soon to have another??? (Yes, the answer to that is YES!) 😉

    • June 4, 2015 at 10:12 am

      Hahaha! You have plenty of time, mama! Also, Caleb might change his mind about snuggles later on. He might be more into cuddle time as he gets older!

  • June 6, 2015 at 1:21 am

    “Kangaroo care”, I’ve never heard this term before. Or the magical healing powers of simple . . . epidermis.

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I love it when those little heads lean right in that spot! My 5yo still likes to cuddle so every now and then I get that reminiscing feeling of baby when she lets me hold her 😉

  • June 17, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Both my girls – now 5 and 2 – are still snugglers, which I love, even though they are so much bigger than these moments. But it still takes away all the other thoughts.

    Beautifully written.

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