After a long day of driving, goofing off and striking out at IKEA (400,000,000 products in the store and the one thing I love you are out of?) all I wanted was to get in my bed, but first I needed to get my sleeping child to her bed. I was not thrilled at the prospect of carrying her up ALL the stairs and getting her tucked in. One of the reasons I willingly lift weights is to make sure that I can carry my daughter as long as I possibly can. It started because I'm a single mom and I hated that other little girls were being lifted up by their daddies to see things at the zoo or to climb up this or that and I didn't want her to miss that. Now it's more that I don't want to lose these last remnants of her being a baby. So when she falls asleep in the car, I stretch and cajole and maneuver her out of the car, up the steps to the house and then up the stairs to her bedroom. It's tricky because she's heavy now and she's so long that her legs are dangling down by my knees, but I manage because I'm her mommy and it's my job. Yesterday, before I took her up to her bed, I laid her on the love seat so I could run to the bathroom (it was a long drive). Then I went to pick her up and take her to bed and I was hit with an incredible feeling. I could see this beautiful little girl lying there, sleeping peacefully, but also I could see the little baby that she used to be and I was awestruck by how quickly this time had passed. So I wanted to hold her. Just for a little bit. I pulled her in to my lap and held my baby who will soon be too big to be held but will always be my baby and I thought about how fortunate I am to be the mother of this remarkable little person while I smoothed her hair (yeah, I know, all moms think their kids are remarkable). Then it was time to keep moving. It was late and there was school and work today. So it was time to braid her hair, carry her up the stairs (without tripping on her legs or banging her in to something) and tuck her in.
I know I don't have much more time left to hold her this way and I need to make more time to do it.