My baby woke up this morning crying at 4am, a mere hour before I was to wake and take on the day. I silently resented the fact that I had to get up, wishing she would just stay asleep. I scooped her up from her crib and put her in bed with me to nurse her so maybe we both could get just a little more sleep.
It worked. As I snuggled her next to me, I reminded myself to catalog how the warmth of her body feels next to mine. I was suddenly painfully aware of how fast she's growing and even more aware that there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.
I adore watching her grow. She's learning so much and changing so quickly. I smile at each new development. She's 6 months old, has 2 teeth and is crawling. She's sitting in a high chair and trying new foods. How did that happen? Didn't I just bring her home?
I wonder sometimes if I could just keep her this little forever. Then I think about everything I would miss and decide to let her keep growing. But, I quickly remember that there will be a day she doesn't want me to hold her. A day she demands her independence. Oh, what will I do when that day comes? Smile at her while my heart is breaking sobbing uncontrollably the next time I'm alone? Sounds about right. Can't I just bottle her up, chubby thighs, sheepish grin and all?
But today, as I was sneaking out of bed trying not to wake her or my sleeping husband, she reached for my hand. As if she knew even in her sleep that I wasn't beside her, asking me to stay even if for just one more minute. So I stayed. I soaked her in for another minute because today isn't the day she doesn't need me. Today is the day she asked me to stay with her, and I thank God she woke up at 4am.