A few weeks ago, with my arm outstretched holding my daughter’s hand as she lay in bed sick, I started stressing, thinking about all the things I had and wanted to do. From the piles of laundry to blog posts to write or even a show on Netflix I’d love to lay in bed and watch, my mind started wandering.
And then it stopped.
How long will my six-year old want to hold my hand?
She’s already declined my offers to pick up her 50 pound+ self when we’re out, even if she’s tired, because “it’s embarrassing, mom.” She’s too old for that.
Really, at six? I’m willing for my arms to go numb for as many more moments as she’ll let me hold her. When I hold her, I cuddle her, I sneak my face into her shoulder and whisper I love her. I get to breathe her in and keep her as my little girl for what feels like an eternity even though I know it’s only a fleeting moment. I’ll take what I can get.
So when she recently asked me to sit on the floor and hold her sweet little hand as she fell asleep, I stopped moving. My phone was in the other room — I didn’t take the time to multi-task with reading about other people’s lives on Facebook or Instagram — I lived in the present with my own life.
I looked closely at her beautiful, tender face. I rubbed her back and told her I was there for her. And I was. I wasn’t half there. I was completely present.
My husband walked by the door and asked what I was doing, implying she’s falling asleep and I could work my way out. (at least he thought we were cute enough that he snapped a photo, too!).
Don’t get me wrong. There have been many, many, not-too-proud moments since she’s born that I have quietly crawled my way out of the room praying she wouldn’t hear me. Nothing is more degrading than a proud, 30-something woman worming herself out of a two-year old’s room in fear she’s going to call your tush back to the foot of her crib.
But now, it’s clear I won’t have many more chances like this one.
So instead, I sat, arm numb and enjoyed every second.
Maybe this is the last time, and maybe it’s not, but I sure as hell am not going to miss it.