It's 2:02 am, and I am awake. Not been-out-clubbing-just-got-home awake (ha, ha). No, this is the my-sweet-NHV-just-called-out-to-me-through-the-monitor kind of wake. That darn monitor that permanently resides on my nightstand. You know the one that Chad somehow isn't able to hear ... because of his "bad ear" and the fact that he's male. The same monitor that functions as a secondary alert system because I usually sense Natalie's calls before she even makes them. Yes, I am awake because I am a mommy.
So NHV called out to me at 1:37 am, and I let her attempt self-soothing for a grand total of 5 minutes. She wasn't even crying very hard, more like fuss, fuss, fuss ... long pause. I probably should've let her work it out, but it's hard for me to imagine her alone in her dark nursery, awake for some reason ... perhaps a bad dream or a need to practice a new skill or sore gums ... I run through a long list for those entire 5 minutes, and then I just have to go to her. I go because I know I can make it better and that is a powerful feeling.
I found her up on her knees kind of rocking back and forth, which immediately made me think of the stair-climbing practice we did earlier today. I can't even begin to imagine what her little brain and muscles must be going through; how much she learns everyday is staggering. In my mommy brain, I assume she's woken up because of this overload. I scoop her up out of her newly lowered crib, which is no easy feat, and begin whispering sweet nothings in her ear. She immediate calmed down and melting into my arms, and despite being awake at this ridiculous hour, I feel like I am exactly where I want to be.
Wanting to savor that feeling for just a few more minutes, I sat down in my glider and put my favorite - super soft - blanket over us. And I just rocked and enjoyed the weight of her in my lap and the smell of her hair and the rhythm of her breathing. And I let my mind wonder.
My first thoughts were of my little sister who gave birth to her third child earlier today. I wonder what she is doing right now. Is she awake, too? Is she feeding or changing or soothing her precious Greyson Daniel? Oh, those early days are such a blur; an emotional, sleep-deprived whirlwind of cries, feedings, and uncertainty. And then my thoughts wander to the fact that soon - very, very soon, sooner than I would like - Natalie will turn one year old. It just doesn't seem possible, and I can't believe how different life is. And in that moment, I have a hard time remembering my life before her.
From there my thoughts fall upon a book given to me for Mother's Day by my dear friend in TX. It's titled Someday, and it is a book I absolutely cherish - because it came from Laurie and because it's just beautiful. The mostly white pages are wonderfully illustrated, each one listing a milestone and then wishes the mother has for her daughter's life. For me it serves as a poignant reminder to enjoy where and when we are right now. Natalie will never be this same baby girl again. A thought that is beyond bittersweet. Someday is everyday.