Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slow Down and Breathe

We had a fantastic time in St. Louis for our Fourth of July, but now I'm playing catchup, so I'm going to recycle a post that some of you may have missed. It was featured on Studio30 Plus a couple of weeks ago. Hope you enjoy it!

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She runs away from me, squealing, as I try to put her Pull-Up on.

"S, come here now!"

Frustrated, I chase her down and thread her legs through the night-night diaper as we call it.

"What book do you want to read?"

Still laughing, she starts baby talking to be silly.

"S, choose a book or we aren't reading one!" My pulse is racing by this point.

"Ok, ok. Umm, this one."

Inwardly I groan. "Hop on Pop" is longer than what I have time for tonight. I'm supposed to meet the neighbor out front in 10 minutes to go for a walk. I need to start exercising again and finding a partner to walk with is a huge step in the right direction.

"All right." I begin reading quickly and skip a few words here and there.

S interrupts me, "Why did they fall off the wall?"

"I don't know, honey." I continue reading, and S continues peppering me with questions. "Let's just finish the story, ok?"

The day's unfinished tasks scroll through my mind. Finally, the book is over. I turn off the light and turn on her music. Currently, she's fond of listening to Journey's Greatest Hits. I lie down with her for two songs, our agreed upon timeframe.

"Let's snuggle," she says, wiggling over to me.

"Ok," I say, a bit surprised. Lately she's more interested in Daddy than me.

She puts her arm around my neck. "I love you, Mama."

My heart melts a little, the beat slows. "I love you, too, baby. So, so much."

"Don't Stop Believin'" ends. The iPod shuffles. "Who's Crying Now" starts.  Lying still, I decide to just go for the walk and not worry about the laundry tonight.



A long pause. "I..."

"What is it, baby?"

"I really love you."

"Aw, honey, I really love you, too."

A small, three-year-old hand reaches for mine in the dusk. I remind myself to savor these fleeting moments. I breathe in her freshly-washed hair, feel her soft fingers tracing the shape of my hand as I used to do to my mother. I knew Mom's hands as well as my own and wonder if S will remember mine when she has a child someday.

The second song ends. I kiss S on the forehead, and start to get up.

"Mama, could you please stay til I fall asleep?"

"Of course, baby."

The walk will have to wait.
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