It’s 8:15pm and Nola is still awake.
That statement in and of itself is not earth shattering, but last night, it was the cause of an unreasonable amount of stress. I was thinking of all the things I had yet to do that night before bed and to get ready for the next day. There was laundry that needed to be folded and put away, the dishwasher needed to be loaded and started, the diaper bag needs packed, and my clothes for tomorrow need to be laid out. Aaron is taking care of the yard (we’ve had temps in the 90’s and no rain in sight) and taking Paige out for her exercise. Normally, Noly finishes her bottle and is out like a light, but last night, she couldn’t get comfortable. As I rocked her, she tossed, stretched and repeatedly rubbed her little face vigorously on my shoulder in an attempt to find that perfect position for sleep. I could feel myself getting annoyed thinking “why can’t you just fall asleep?!?” when it hit me:
I only have so many days to rock my baby girl to sleep.
Next week, she will turn 9 months old. 9 months?! How did that happen? I’m sure she was just 6 months yesterday!
When you’re a kid, time creeps. Hours drag, days take forever and a year?? Forget about it. A year is sooooo far away. It might as well be never. Then once you hit adulthood and life becomes about a work week, and weekend projects you start to realize how fast time flies. And then you have kids. And it’s like lightning. I find it hard to believe we will be throwing a first birthday party in about 3 months.
So last night, I committed to memory the sound of her sweet baby voice
The soft fuzz of her hair against my cheek
Her tiny fingers wrapped around my thumb
The smell of her baby shampoo
The weight of holding her in my arms and the acute ache in my low back from arching backwards just enough to obtain the optimal reclining position
I know there will come a day when she’s too big to be rocked to sleep. When it’s “goodnight mom” and falling asleep on her own instead of in my arms. When she no longer reaches out for me when her eyelids droop. And I don’t know when that day will be. And I’ll never know which day is the last until it’s already gone. I can’t slow down time, but I can live in these moments while I have them – recognizing that not only is she a gift, but the time with her is a gift as well.
So tonight, I may just spend an entire hour rocking her to sleep, and I won’t care what gets wrinkled, or stays in the dishwasher, or what gets forgotten at home tomorrow morning. Just me and my babe in a moment that will be gone too soon, but one I will hold on to for long after.