There are only three -- or fewer -- weeks left before Jen will meet her new baby. She's realizing that this time with her firstborn is now especially precious, as their lives will both be changing very soon.

A couple of weeks ago, when we arrived home from our day, I could tell that Aaron was tired. He was cranky and fussy and generally being very three. My back was particularly sore that day so I was laying on the couch after putting in a video for Aaron to watch. I was just hoping for a small break before the evening was underway.

After a few minutes, Aaron asked to come up on the couch with me. We put our arms around each other and snuggled in tight - or as tight as we could given my current girth - Aaron still watching his video. It was a nice, cozy feeling. After a few minutes, I realized he was asleep. My first baby would still fall asleep in my arms.

I lay with Aaron for probably twenty minutes or half an hour, just enjoying the moments. I smelled his hair (a little sweaty from the playground), noticed a smudge of paint on his hand (blue), and a little bit of sand on his socks. I kissed him lightly on the forehead repeatedly and rubbed his back. I rubbed my belly some, for once hoping Sprout wouldn't be his active self, start squirming, and possibly disturb our little bit of heaven. I realized that soon enough these moments would be even more rare than they were now. Finally, my husband picked up our sleeping firstborn and put him in his own bed for the rest of the night. My big angel fell asleep even before eating dinner.

In a very short amount of time, I will be the mother of two. This intimacy that I have with my older son will be irrevocably changed by the birth of his brother, in good and bad ways. I will never again be just Aaron's mom; from the moment of his birth on, there will be another little boy in the picture always. The change about to take place in all our lives is tremendous.

Since that evening on the couch, I have found myself constantly trying to take mental snapshots of this time. Both the good and the not so good moments. The last bit of time when it is just the three of us, my husband, Aaron and me - and the times when it is just the two of us, Aaron and me - out doing the mundane, daily things, or the more special and fun things. Just being.

When we're driving to school in the morning, I am more tolerant of his why phase. "Mommy, why do roads have signs?" "Why do people drive?" "Why are there trees there?" for miles at a time. And no answer satisfies, really. When I do need to discipline him, I am calmer in my response to his actions. But just as firm. I laugh more easily with him, too. And we smile at each other more, just generally. We give and receive kisses more often right now. He seems to recognize that this time is special, too.

Last week my husband had to be out of town for a day, and so we had a whole day (aside from work or school) to ourselves. I decided we'd go out for dinner, just us. I have never done this with him before, and wonder when I will have the chance again. We had a great time at the pasta restaurant near our house. Aaron laughed and told me stories of school friends and of his tumbling class. He charmed the wait staff and shared his cookie with me.

When we arrived home, we decided to have a little pajama party up in Mommy and Daddy's room so he could watch a little of the baseball game. We both put on our pajamas and turned out all the lights and turned on the Red Sox. Although he didn't fall asleep in my arms that night, our special evening was just about perfect. When Aaron asked, after one inning, to go down to his own room, I admit that part of me was a little sad. I would have loved a repeat of the evening on the couch. But those moments are fleeting, and I am at least glad I caught it when it did happen, that I did not break the magic too soon.

Some mornings when Aaron crawls into bed with us, he likes to rest his head on my belly. He rubs my belly and talks of some of the things he'd like to do for and with his brother. I know he will be a great big brother, but for now, for these brief final days, I am just happy that he is my (only)


recommended for you