She fought to keep her eyes open while I finished a story about baby brothers. And finally, as I closed the last page she rolled to her side, wrapped her arm around my neck, and fell fast asleep.
I couldn’t help but lay there for a few minutes. Her warm, soft arm draped heavily around my neck. Just inches from the brand new freckles on her nose. All of her smelling of outside, swimming pool, and Spaghetti-O’s.
And as an unusually cool summer breeze blew through the window, all the world was right.
And I had another moment. A moment of peace. And joy. Unspeakable joy.
I wanted to bottle up that smell and hold it tight. I wanted to memorize every freckle. And count every breath.
Because these perfect moments of cuddling and reading and resting will give way soon to other moments. Older moments. More grown-up moments.
And I will cherish those, too.
But for now, I have these. And I cling to these. To get me through the threenage days. To get me past the testing and the sassing. To help me endure the exhaustion that motherhood can be sometimes.
Things will change tomorrow.
She’ll add a new word or a new expression. Her legs will get even longer (if that’s possible) and her face will thin out even more. Leaving behind every trace of the baby I once held on my forearm.
But today. In that moment. She wrapped me in her arm. And I wrapped her in my heart.
Freckles. Swimming pools. And Spaghetti-O’s.