It’s been a long time since I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to check on my little girl. She’s three and a half now, and for over a year she’s been sleeping through the night. It’s a blessing.
There was a time in my life when the only thing I was praying for was an extra hour of sleep. But during those sleepless nights of nursing, scary noises, or diaper changes, I also lived for those wakeup calls from my “damsel in distress”. As a working mom, they sporadically gave me the opportunity to do the mom things I missed out on during the day.
Things change fast when you have a baby growing into a toddler. So many things that were a routine for me three years ago now are mere distant memories of a life I once lived.
It Won’t Be Like This For Long
As I would lay awake at nights nursing my baby, completely exhausted, yet completely in love, I would sing the song It Won’t Be Like This For Long. In those moments I was fully aware how much I would miss the rocking chair snuggles and late night lullabies. What I wasn’t aware of was how I would never truly know they were ending. For as quickly as they ended, something new would take their place.
If I manage to do my job as a mom successfully, I will teach my little one how to survive in this world completely without me. I can only imagine how hard that day will be when she leaves the nest for the last time…pride about her future, mixed with tears about our past. I still have 15 years before that day comes, but somehow, I already know with each blink those years are getting closer.
If I Could Turn Back Time
If I could turn back time, I would have stayed home longer from work after she was born and enjoyed those precious newborn moments that disappear as quickly as they started.
If I could turn back time, I would have cuddled a little longer in the rocking chair before I put her back in her crib at night. Who knew that just as quickly as she loved being rocked to sleep, she grow too big to fit in my lap in a rocking chair?
If I could turn back time, I would have played with her more in the shower. Who knew there would come a day when all she needed me for was help washing her hair before wanting to play alone in the imaginary world of rubber duckies?
If I could turn back time, I would have laid beside her bed on the floor holding her hand until she fell asleep in her new toddler bed just one more night. Who knew there would come a night when she could do it on her own?
If I could turn back time, I would have nursed her just a few weeks longer. Who knew there would be a day when my body wasn’t her sole source of nourishment?
If I could turn back time, I would have recorded a few more baby giggles. Who knew there would be a day when they were replaced with a toddler laugh?
But You Can’t Turn Back Time
Life keeps marching on, and that really is a good thing. It brings with it a whole new set of “Who knews?”
Who knew that by three it would be more fun to dance spinning in circles in the living room floor than to dance “Loopty-Loo” around the kitchen for baby giggles?
Who knew that by three it would be more fun to do scooter races down the driveway together than take a stroller walk?
Who knew that by three the fun of an imaginary friend and their crazy antics would bring more joy than a toy?
Who knew that by three the fun of pretend birthday parties and pretend presents would trump going to real events?
Who knew that by three a picnic on the living room floor would be the coolest way to eat family dinner?
Who knew that at three, the most important conversation for the toddler around the dining table would be ensuring everyone said “Amen?” after prayer?
Who knew that at three, parenting toddler tantrums could be so hard as you balance independence with safety and listening skills?
Who knew that at three your heart would break the first time your kiddo said “I don’t love you” out of anger, as you pulled them closer and said, “But I will always love you anyway”?
As Time Marches On
As time marches on, the “Who Knews” of today will also feel like a lifetime ago. A lifetime that once defined my life as a mom, replaced with new wonders.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could freeze time. It’s a paradox because I also enjoy every minute of watching my little girl find her way in this world.
And sometimes, like tonight, I get a surprise “Who Knew” from the past. An unexpected 3:00 a.m. wake up call from a toddler’s room with the sweetest words, “Please sing me a lullaby. I want Little Snowflake.”
Anything for you my sleeping little angel. Thanks for the early morning moment. It won’t be like this for long, but I’ll treasure our mommy daughter moments forever.