“You’re so sentimental now.”

I respond defensively at first. But then, I think, how would I otherwise make it through?

I pour myself a glass at 5pm, or meet friends at a park, to laugh off the day.

But then, when it’s the middle of the night and the bottle’s empty and the friends are asleep, but my baby is awake, what then?

When I’m so tired that anger is the first emotion I feel when the few minutes of sleep I’ve gotten are interrupted, I stop myself.

I’ve dreamed of you. I’ve wanted you. You are everything to me.

If I don’t take a moment, to watch them while they sleep on me, how can I deal with them while they’re awake?

If I don’t take a moment to notice and remark on their tiny hands and pudgy feet, how can I stand the trail of disaster they leave in their wake?

Is a toddler whiney? Is a teenager moody? A mother is sentimental.

I’ve seen the mother of older kids glancing at me in the grocery store as I corral my children. She looks wistfully at the chaos and says, “Enjoy it. It goes by so quickly.”

She’s a sap, too, like all of the mothers before her.

Just like me. Just like you. Just like all of us when we remember our baby asleep on our chest.