I sigh and crawl into Little Miss’s bed beside her, thinking about the dirty dishes in the kitchen and the laundry to be folded. But then, something in her eyes makes my heart soften. Something about the way she reaches for my hand and snuggles close under my chin stops the whirlwind of duties racing around inside my head. And my mind, now set to “pause,” sinks into the present moment. A wave of realization washes over my consciousness and invites me to float on it. Slowly. Then more slowly.
I look at her as her eyelids willingly close over her big blue eyes. There will come a day when she dodges my hugs, when she sighs at my suggestions, when I am not the company she prefers to keep. Her long lashes won’t blink up at me with innocent trust, and I won’t be that first special person to whom she confides her joys, her hopes, and her hurts.
But today, right now, I am her favorite person in the world. I am Mama to this beautiful 3 year-old, and she finds comfort in my presence as she drifts off to sleep. What a privilege–to be so completely loved by such a sweet little soul.
So I kiss her face and smell the top of her head. Stroking back the hair that falls over her eyes with one hand, I allow myself to feel her little fingers, tight around the other.
I whisper, “You’re my girl.” My heart swells with gratitude. I listen to her breathing become steady and peaceful.
She won’t be 3 years old forever.