My younger brother recently became a father, and I love getting pictures of my tiny, perfect nephew. I look at those pictures and it seems like a lifetime ago that my daughter was that little. But it was actually only 20 months ago. Again, I think, where does the time go?
The other night, as I was about to go through our regular bedtime routine, Emerson asked for me to rock her in the chair. This was a pleasant surprise. The two of us snuggled into the big purple rocker, wrapped ourselves up in a knitted blankie, and began to rock. As I stared into her sleepy eyes, she whispered the names of different family members, neighbors, friends, and pets. She was comforted in the fact that I reassured her they were all going "night night" just like her. In the nightlight lit room, we quietly sang "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Eensy Weensy Spider" and her favorite, "Wheels on the Bus." And even though it was too dark to see the words, I read her the book On the Night You Were Born; no need to see the words on the pages since I know them by heart now. After that, I'm not sure how long we rocked. All I know is one second she was giving me a kiss, holding my face in her hands and saying "my mommy," and then the next second her eyes were closed and I was listening to the familiar sound of her sleeping and breathing.
For a few minutes, it seemed like time stopped and nothing else mattered. In that moment, nothing else mattered.
In that moment, I could have rocked all night and watched her get a little bit older. I could stare at her forever with tears in my eyes, still full of amazement that I made this tiny, perfect human. I don't like that minutes, hours, days will go by again and I will think where did the time go? How many more rock to sleep nights will we have together?
For now, I am going to do my best to remember to slow down, let those moments happen and tuck them into my heart pocket.
Those minutes, hours, days, school years are going to keep flying by. But which moments are you going to slow down for and remember?
And just because we all need a good cry now and then, take a listen...