The clock hands hover around noon. Our fingers intertwine as we walk up the stairs. Into the "big" bed we climb. Your little body squirms until your head rests on the pillow, your torso presses against my arm and I pull the quilt over us.
Story after story, interrupted only by a quiet "more". Finally, a book ends and you half rise/half throw yourself onto my chest and I know that it's time. I carry you to your crib, tuck your baby doll under your arm, pull the blanket over you and smile as you say "nigh nigh" and "bye". The instrumental lullaby plays as I say "I love you", wave "bye bye" and close the door.
Through the monitor I hear high pitched, choppy calls for "mama. mama" and finally a singsong "MAMA." Opening the door, I'm greeted with a sleepy smile as you begin to sit up. Into my arms your crawl and we head to the rocking chair.
Rock rock rock. My nose buried in your flaxen curls. Smelling of wind, sunshine, sweat and youness. Quietly I begin to sing your favorites...pausing in between just long enough to hear you squeak "more". As your gradually awakening body slumps against mine, I rock rock rock.
Overwhelmed with the comfort of this special time. Fully aware that the next time I stand up, you will be a young woman, too big for my lap, too awkward for a full body cuddle.
The fleeting gifts of motherhood.