I don’t sleep anymore. Thank you for that. You are 8 months old and are living each milestone to its fullest. You are turning and grabbing and clapping, and cooing and laughing and spitting and eating your toes and rolling around fast. There’s no stopping you… especially when its time to go to sleep. The second I put you down for a nap you are practicing all your new motor skills. Eyes red from exhaustion, you still attempt to get up on all fours. “This is the time. I can feel it.” With pride and excitement, I can’t help but watch you. I’m fascinated by how quickly you move. Just months ago you were a blob that could barely lift your head. I miss that. I watch you conquer these incredible milestones and it kind of makes me sad. You are growing faster than I am ready for.
You see, I would have never imagined how much I could love something until I gave birth to you. It’s a love felt so intensely at a cellular level. It’s as if every single part of my body still remembers what it was like to create you. As you become more independent my muscles and bones miss carrying you, caring for you. My soul cannot take the brutal fact that one day you won’t need me. When you were just a few weeks old, you used to nap on my chest each afternoon. Cuddled into me, you would sleep for hours. I got lots of sleep during that time too. Upright on that rocking chair, I felt so at peace with the world. I often drifted into sleep as well. Then one day you were just too big to find that comfortable anymore. You would cry with such an annoyed voice when I tried to cuddle with you. Suddenly you needed your space. You were 4 months old and it was the first of many times that you would break my heart.
Yes, your mother is a sentimental creep who is crazy in love with you. I spend every moment of my day figuring out what I need to do with my life to make your life the best it can be. You see, when I was a teenager I used to go to church all the time. I was really into youth group and retreats. I was still super involved in the church in college. I spent so much time thinking, reflecting, and talking about how Jesus could love us so much that He would lay down His life for us. I didn’t know it at the time, but I couldn’t fathom a love that strong. I had never felt it towards anyone or anything. But I totally get it now. I totally understand a love so strong that I would willingly walk through hell for you. Torture, both mentally and physically, and all. A love so all-consuming that suddenly you are the only thing in my life that matters. A burning love that ignites a passion in me to make the world a better place for you to enjoy as you grow older. A love so powerful that it has changed who I am in every aspect of my life. It has changed my relationship with my husband, my mother, my family, society, the government, the church, the planet, my friends, and myself. A love so fierce that I would cut out any of those mentioned before if it was what’s best for you… no second thought necessary. A love that is just naturally unrequited because just like Jesus, you will not love me with the same ferocity. I guess it’s just one of the many masochistic traits of motherhood.
So, I don’t sleep anymore. Because I want to soak up every piece of you that I can. I enjoy watching you stretch your body to new heights when you should be dreaming. When your body finally gets so tired that it stops rolling…. when your active little fingers stop reaching for anything you can touch… when your beautiful, heavy eyelids finally close… I am still wide eyed and smiling. Thanking God for allowing me to borrow one of His most perfect creations. Hoping that I can do right for you all your life. Hoping I am women enough, mom enough to raise you to be the best young lady this world has seen. I use those moments of peace to smell your perfect head and daydream about all the adventures I will fill your life with. And deep into the night. When everything is dark and quiet… when you nuzzle into my chest for late-night, half-asleep nursing, I secretly, selfishly wish that you could just stay this amazing, beautiful, little creature forever.
Hi! I’m a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl, which has made me obsessed with all things pregnancy, birth, babies, breastfeeding, and postpartum life. I have a degree in Developmental Psychology and I’m currently studying for a Masters in Public Health. I’m also a Certified Lactation Counselor. I love Disney, burgers, wine, “search and find” puzzles, and board games. I hope to get to know you soon.