There are just some things you never want to forget as a parent…the way your newborn baby’s head smells after a bath, how small and fresh and perfect they are when you bring them home for the first time, the way your toddler belly laughs with delight when something strikes his or her sense of humor. The list goes on and on, and then on a bit more.
A few nights ago, I had a mama moment that I pray I can cement to memory. There are at least a handful of these beautiful encounters each day, but this particular exchange with Henry is one I will savor for as long as I know how. After we had put him to bed, our munchkin was crying and calling for me in an unsettled kind of way. I had run out to the store for a bit right about the same time he and daddy were beginning the nightly bedtime routine, and although I’d made it back in time to say goodnight, it seemed our little one’s tank just needed a tad more filling up before he would fall asleep. I somewhat halfheartedly climbed the stairs to his room, plotting out the evening’s technique for settling him in.
As soon as I opened the door, H looked up and nodded “yes” to me as he said, “snuggle mommy in the rocker?” As if to say, “You’ll say yes and rock me, right?” I love the look on his face when he’s trying to convince me of something–his eyebrows go up, eyes open wide; it’s as if the trajectory of his whole day is weighing on the moment when mommy will say yes or no.
Of course “yes” in this case. “Of course I will snuggle you in the rocker,” I thought. I don’t take this snuggly season for granted, knowing that as soon as I do, it will be gone. (And oh, how I’ll miss the snuggling!) So, cuddle up in the rocker, we did–blanket and pillow and necessities included upon request. And I told H we could “Snuggle for five minutes, ok?” After that, it would be bedtime.
Four minutes in, I gave the one minute warning. H looked up at me hopefully and agreed. Yes. Mm hmm. Bedtime soon. But as that minute was up and I said it was time to go, our brief snuggle in the rocker made a move to permanently plant itself in my mind. “Just one more minute?” Henry whispered to me in a most quiet, sacred, pleading voice. It was almost as if the minute were too precious to ask for, and yet worth the risk. I held him tighter.
“Yes, honey. One more minute.” Every part of my previously weary self sank into this ask–curled into it, gave way to it, soaked it up for all it was worth. “One more perfect minute,” I thought as I looked at him, ran my fingers through his longish wavy hair. The most essential of minutes, when we both knew it was exactly what we both needed–one more snuggle before I picked him up from that place and laid him gently to bed in the crib, his little self curling up peacefully without another thought for the day.
“Just one more minute.” I’ll remember it forever. That little voice, so honest and vulnerable and sweet. The very best moment at the very end of a long day, and the feeling that there was no other place in the world I’d rather be. Divine.
motherhood never ceases to amaze,