This afternoon I nursed Julian to sleep for his nap and then I went off to hang out with his sisters for a while. When he awoke about an hour later, I went into the bedroom where he was rubbing his eyes. I picked him up, expecting him to want to play, but instead he melded his little body onto mine and fell instantly back to sleep.
I sat on the bed and carefully arranged a pillow behind my back as I leaned back against the headboard, preparing to hold him until he was ready to be awake. With my eyes I focussed on the precious dip of his Cupid's Bow, wanting to remember its shape always. With my breath I focussed on his warm exhale, wanting to remember his gentle breeze forever. With my body I focussed on his warmth and on the way his long legs stretched across my thigh, wanting to remember his 16-month-old form for the rest of his life.
You see, these are the moments of motherhood that I cherish the most: The Moments of Surrender. I look at it like this:
I can pay someone to fold my laundry and vacuum my floors and wash my windows. And there's a Daddy at this house who can zip zippers and wipe bums and push kids on swings and even throw a meal on the table from time to time. But when a little child at this house chooses my arms as his bed, my shoulder as his pillow, my warmth as his blanket and my breath as his favourite scent, then there is nothing to do but to surrender to his choice.
I am Unique in this role as Mother. I am the One my children choose. I alone am able to be the safe place of unconditional love. I relish this role. My children choose ME and I choose them.
Is there anything on my to-do list that is bigger than surrendering to this moment of Motherhood? Not even close. Will it matter if the laundry doesn't get folded until tomorrow or if the roast goes in the oven a half hour later than I planned? It might matter a little. And we'll deal with it.
Can you Surrender to Motherhood? Can you hold a sleeping baby just a little longer? Can you read aloud a favourite story for the 585th time? Can you stay up late baking a favourite recipe so that a little one can enjoy a special breakfast? Can you sing a silly song and laugh your head off just to hear the laugh of a precious one again?
Breathe it in and hold it tight.
It is so fleeting...