A few mornings ago, my boy Ezra and I fell unexpectedly out of sync with all of our supposed-to-dos, and suddenly found ourselves immersed in a pocket of pure soul sweetness.
I heard him bumping around in the kitchen in the wee hours, fixing himself some breakfast, while I was still sleeping. As I began to stir, I called him to me.
Ezra plopped down on the side of my bed, announcing, “I set my alarm an hour too early, and now I’m exhausted.” I moved over and pulled him down beside me, saying sleepily, “Mmmm…why don’t you rest then for a bit, Love?”
So he snuggled in beside me without resistance, held close in my arms just like when he was small, and before I knew it, his breath had deepened and he was sleeping and dreaming.
I started to doze off too. I knew that we were supposed to get up soon, to get ready for his school and my work, but something held me fast, insisting: Don’t mess with this. Don’t wake him. Drink this moment in. What could be more important than this?
It was that kind of treasure that sneaks up on you, the kind you don’t even know you’ve discovered until you find yourself neck-deep in gratitude and wonder.
Suddenly it was obvious that the only priority was to cherish this moment of intimacy with my growing boy.
To cherish the sound of his sleeping breath. To memorize his fully-trusting weight in my arms, his perfect peace.
The clock moved along, past the time he’d have to get on his bike to get to school on time, past the time I’d need to shower and dress and tend to work calls, as I surrendered even deeper to this treasure.
I let our hearts become completely entrained. I synced up my breath with his.
His head was on my chest, and I could feel the way my mama-heart is intrinsically drawn toward feeding him the love he inspires.
Twelve years ago, it was golden milk. Now it’s just gold.
As we lay there together in the simplest bliss of love, I tried to remember the last time my boy had slept in my arms, and I couldn’t even recall. That’s how long it had been. Maybe more than a year.
For years when Ezra was small, he would sleep at least half of each night snuggled up beside me in my bed. He said the “mean spirits” wouldn’t bother him if I was nearby because they knew better than to mess with his mama.
I remember worrying a bit that he might never outgrow this desire to sleep near me. I had anxious fantasies of a huge, teenaged Ezra still crawling into my bed at night. Now, half a dozen years later, I relish the chance for even a moment of co-sleeping.
When Ezra finally woke up in my arms and realized what I had allowed to occur, he was so tender and heartful. So sweetly thankful. His voice was soft and young.
We agreed to move gently toward bringing him to school late, refusing to rush toward or away from anything. We wanted to fully honor the beauty of our morning’s medicine.
He took the dogs outside while he watered our vegetable garden and I watched him from the window, sipping my tea. I could feel the gifts from our surrender still unfurling.
On any other day, I might not have pulled him down beside me. I might have felt compelled to serve the clock. I might have discouraged him from falling back asleep. I might have pushed. I could have missed the invitation. I could have easily prioritized punctuality and responsibility over the chance for soul-intimacy.
What happens when we consistently prioritize the timeline of our life responsibilities—all of our “shoulds” and “musts” and “have-tos”—over the spontaneous, instinctual unfolding of the moment?
I wonder about the hidden costs of this dutiful living inside-the-lines of a tightly scheduled life.
I wonder how you might choose to prioritize soul intimacy for yourself today? Perhaps with a simple pause, or with a deeper leaning in?
Perhaps by listening carefully to your own heart’s desire?
Perhaps with another human, or creature, or flower, or breeze?
Perhaps right here, right now. Turning toward what matters most.