She fell asleep in my arms today. My littlest, my baby. Her head resting in the crook of my elbow, her 15-month-old legs dangling across my thighs. Her pink blankie tucked all around her face, just the way she likes. She fell asleep in my arms, just so.
She never really was a baby to do that. Even in her tiny days- the ones where they are just a ball of love and fit so perfectly on your chest- even in those days, she wasn’t one to be so snuggly and enjoy the perfect fit. I mourned that a little. Well, I mourned that a lot. She was just a baby who fell asleep best without me, rather than with me, so I made my peace with it and let her fall asleep the way she needed, to discover the world the way she needed… rather than the way I needed her to need.
She has always been a handful of joy. A feisty rascal of love. And so today when it took her some time to fall asleep for her nap, it was nothing out of the norm. Her older sister was asleep too; I wanted my silence and work out time. So I began my P90x, and still she cried. I went up to rub her back, and then ran back down, trying to keep my heart rate up. Still she cried. A little longer than usual, by now.
And I went back to her room. She raised her arms and I picked her up. Immediately, she put her head on my chest. Immediately her breathing slowed.
All she wanted was her mommy. All she needed was me.
And so I put aside my silent house, I said goodbye to my workout goals.
I held my baby.
I watched her eyes get heavy. She clasped her hand around my one finger, as if to say Don’t You Even Think About Leaving. I watched her whole entire torso rise and fall with her breath… slower… slower still.
I noticed her perfect, perfect, kissable lips. I looked at her ten tiny fingers and her ten tiny toes.
And then she started snoring. The adorable exhausted-deep-slumber-baby kind of snore.
And I held on to her. She fell asleep on me, after all. A handful of times I can remember this certain child of mine doing that. And now her world is expanding even more, now she is curious and busy and she doesn’t sit still on my lap too often.
And so I felt her weight. I ran my fingers through her hair. I held my baby and did not rush.
I don’t always make that decision. But for this moment, this was the absolute very best decision.