Three thirty this morning and baby girl is up again and she is hungry and she cuddles closer and I notice her legs and feet are so cold so I grab another blanket and wrap us together, warm and tight. And I am so tired and she won’t sleep unless snuggled next to me and it is only day ten. And I am so tired. And I know I should be enjoying this moment and appreciating this cuddle but to my shame all I can think is “This too shall pass” and I will be able to sleep in my bed, not on the couch and she will be sleeping in her own bed. And then the guilt sets in and I look down at her and she is so beautiful and I think how can I be so selfish with these thoughts. These are the moments I hold precious and the moments I say I look forward to and here I am, in this moment, and all I can think is when can I go back to sleep.
And then, as I look at her, I am reminded of how much worry I had before she got here and now I am anxious for her to grow up faster? And then I hear it, that small voice of Him who knows my thoughts and thankfully my heart and gently admonishes me to slow down and pause.
So I take a deep breath and look at my baby girl. And as she snuggles a little closer and throws a perfectly timed smile at my direction with sleepy eyes fluttering open for a half second I smile back and relax. And I am reminded of this same time I had with the boys when they were born. I don’t remember the sheer exhaustion like I feel now, the fight to keep my own eyes open while she nurses. Instead, I remember how sweet they looked, how precious and short those moments were.
So I pause for this blessing, ask God to forgive me once again for my selfishness, because mothers are not supposed to be selfish. But I recognize it happens and ask God to forgive me for rushing yet again and one more time to forgive me of my selfishness.
Almost as soon as she started she finishes eating and I see her slip away to dream and I don’t want to let her go, don’t want to end this moment. So I hold her close, gently patting her back, waiting for that soft burp and sigh of contentment, and I flash her my own sleepy-eyed smile and snuggle closer. I pray a prayer of thanks over her, and finally we can both sleep and wait for morning when the calm is cleared by her brother’s bubbly voices asking for breakfast and wanting to get under the covers on the couch too and there will be more cuddles and the pace of the day will quicken.
And this moment will be over and I will be so glad I paused to receive this blessing of unconditional love.