Finnegan is not a particular cuddle bug. He always has me in sight, and he will light up the world from across the room with his sideways grin, but he likes to be off on his own, exploring, watching. He has a corner of the couch that he naps on, with an old stuffed dog with one eye named Wizard from my childhood, my version of the Velveteen Rabbit, and a quilt made by an old friend of my mother's, Miss Flo, who he never got to meet before she passed away. Usually I take this moment to read, or sit with a cup of tea, or meditate. I cuddle up on the other corner with my quilt, giving him his space to move, and just watch his beautiful face, peaceful. It gives me hope and faith in the universe, that I am exactly where I need to be at that moment, and all is well in the world.
He'll nap for exactly an hour and a half, and start to stir. He'll roll over, peek up, and then put his head back down for a few seconds. He'll groggily sit up, eyes glazed, and peer around the room for me. Then his eyes will meet mine, and I'll get that sideways smile. I'll hold out my arms, and he'll crawl over to me, nestle in, and nap for about fifteen more minutes. These are the most treasured fifteen minutes of my day, along with the song I sing to him as he's falling asleep in my arms before he goes to bed for the night, a song by the Wailin' Jennys called Arlington:
Where do you go little bird, when it snows, when it snows
When the world turns to sleep, do you know, do you know?
Is it something in the wind, breathes a chill in your heart, and life in your wings?
Does it whisper start again, start again?
Where is the sun in the night? Is it cold, is it cold?
Does it feel left behind, all alone, all alone?
Does it wander through the night, does it wait for the dawn, wish on a star?
Does it stray very far, very far?
In these moments, I find the answer to the elusive meaning of existence. Perhaps it comes easily to others, and yes, I've heard it over and over again: love. But to actually feel it, all bundled up with the opposing feelings of such intense hope, fear, longing, and contentment in those moments is nothing shy of remarkable. I love you, little boy.