I woke you from your baby dreams too early this morning.  Your warm breath was soft upon my skin as you sleepily opened your mouth to drink.  Early mornings are one of the few times you focus and still nurse, in your growing quest to learn and conquer your world.  Your warm breath was soft upon my skin as you sleepily opened your mouth to drink.  I held you tight against my chest as you drank and just barely stayed awake.  Your sweet eyes closed as your ever-growing, sturdy body curled into me.  I was distracted by the softness of your cheek from my vigilance with the clock, not wanting to care, but needing to.  All too soon, our time was over, and you awoke as I stood and you held tightly to my nipple.  I wanted to cry.  You want your Mommy.  Your Mommy wants you.  But your Mommy has to go to work to support us.  I can’t explain that, as I pulled you off me, five minutes later than I “should” have.  My heart broke as I gave you to another, to hurry off to work.  Knowing you will be loved and cared for helps but doesn’t break my heart any less for watching you reach for me and knowing I have to leave you.  Leaving you rips me up, from the inside out, when all I want is to stay in bed, snuggled against you, offering you my milk as you choose and holding you while you sleep.

At work I count the hours until I can hold you again, dreading the thought of you sleeping when I pick you up, wanting you to rest, but still craving your smile and your soft baby giggle and smooth new skin.  I can envision robbing banks for more time with you; but getting caught would mean more time away from you.  You are my beating heart, living outside my chest.  Each new milestone we celebrate makes me even prouder of you than the day I first gazed into your indignant eyes, screaming at being pulled from my womb.

My world is happy and complete when you are in my arms, or sitting on my hip, staring bravely out at the world.  I love you.  I will take care of you and support us; no matter how hard it is.