i'm single-parenting it, so i had my whole evening planned out: kids in bed, me and livi will watch the news, maybe a movie, do some emailing, get livi to bed, then i'll head to bed by midnight.
i guess livi was extra tired today because she fell asleep nursing while i was singing/praying with the older three. imagine my excitement when, at no less that five minutes after eight, i had all four kids in bed and asleep. seriously, that never happens to me.
i was (as silently as possible) re-making my bed when i noticed olivia doing the gassy-scootch thing in her pack n play. "great," i thought. "stupid gas." i tried the whole pacifier/pat her back/pat her butt/wish like crazy i was imagining this whole episode... to no avail. she started into full-fledged fussing, and with visions of o'reilly and lie to me going up in smoke in my head, i scooped her up and flopped down on my bed with her in my arms. curling up on my side and resigning myself to a not-so-alone-and-peaceful evening, i hoped like crazy she'd fall back asleep asap and let me get on with my plans.
suddenly i realized with sobering clarity... here i was, in a quiet and peaceful house, lying on a freshly-made bed with a beautiful brown baby in my arms... and wishing i was somewhere else, doing something else. seriously? "what is wrong with me?" i berated myself in disdain.
i smelled her clean baby smell and felt her hand (with the slightly too-long nails) clutching my arm slowly go limp, her face buried in my chest. i heard her shuddering sigh and just knew... she felt safe, loved, and cared-for, and was content to fall asleep in my arms, her curls against my face. how many times in her first six months of life did she get picked up and cuddled, just 'cuz? maybe never. how many times in the next six months can i be there for her to make up for lost cuddles she can never get back? hopefully every time she wants me to.
and, maybe, i can remember that all these moments of little boys and trucks and my big girl and her chap-stick love and questions about the moon and outer space and sandy feet and all the things that make my life what it is, will one day be gone. and i will wish like crazy i could not watch o'reilly for a whole year, just to get back one night of sweet brown curls and chubby thighs nestled under my chin, or three-year-old boy whispers of "you're my best buddy, mommy."
remember, sarah. just remember.