Today, Elizabeth fell asleep in my arms for probably the first time in over a year.
You see, she was never one to have to be rocked to sleep. Up until November when we transitioned her to a big girl bed after she decided she could climb out of her crib, we always rocked, read books, and sang right before bedtime. And when she was younger, we’d do the same routine for nap time. But now that she’s in a big girl bed, we usually just sit in the floor and read now, and I sit beside her bed after she’s tucked in to say her prayers (which hasn’t changed, we’ve always done it even when she was in a crib).
But today, at nap time, which is a real struggle lately since she can open her door, or blatantly defy sleep and everything now… She fell asleep while I rocked her.
And in that moment, the clock stopped. The humungous mess in her room disappeared. The to-do list and mountain of laundry didn’t exist. The major meltdown she threw at the post office didn’t matter anymore. There was peace, even if just for a few moments, and all was right with the world. I found myself wiping my tears with her blankey and nuzzling my nose into her hair. I couldn’t help but cry.
I can’t decide whether they were tears of joy or tears of sadness. You see, she is my world. Even during the moments when she is as stubborn and defiant as I am, she is essentially my happy. But it makes me sad that she has grown so quickly. The time has gone too fast. The other night as I was double checking on her before I went to bed, I stood over her for the longest time just amazed at how big she’s gotten. She’s no longer a baby, but a little girl. A talkative, free-spirited, busy little girl. The days seem soooo long, and then you look back and a whole month or year has passed.
And I couldn’t help be convicted. The mess and the to-do list will always be there. There will always be calls to make and dinners to cook, but these days are short, Mamas. We should make them count. [There’s a little family in the next county who just lost their grandma and three year old girl Saturday after a terrible car accident, and the news just shatters me. I can’t even follow their story for updates on facebook, it just breaks me apart.]
Of course, all of this came today after I heard the Cinderella song for the first time on the way home from the store. It too, brought me to tears. But I HAVE to share…
It reminds me so much of Elizabeth. Almost every night, she pulls her Daddy to dance with her. She’ll pull him up off the couch if a song comes on, and it always makes my heart so full. And at some point every day, she still begs me to “ring around the rosies, mama”! (hence the name of the blog)
When was the last time you took a step back and really savored these moments we have?!? We never know how long they might last.