Saturday, January 17, 2015

What I Didn't Expect

Rocking in the quiet stillness of the early morning darkness, I listened to the little noises she made as she ate.  For the first time I didn’t beg my mind to create a lasting snapshot, instead I just let each sensation wash over me. I drifted as we rocked back and forth.

I knew to expect the tired, the worn-out, and the stretched-thin.  Everyone says, “It gets better,” and it does, quicker than your mind will allow you to imagine in those moments of pure exhaustion and weariness.

Many hours I spent trapped under a sleeping baby as I looked around at the chaos and mess that consumed almost every inch of our house.  I could feel every dust particle and dirty dish weighing on my soul.  I should be able to keep a clean house, right?  I expected that one day I would be able to be cleaner and tidier. 

While my arm muscles grew to accommodate lugging around a fast growing infant, my leg muscles declined from the hours spent lounging with a needy baby.  Never being able to find the time to exercise, I tried not to linger too long in the mirror.  I hoped one day I would be able to find the time to be a fit, healthy mom.

What I didn’t expect is that when she finally started sleeping through the night, many times I would wish for her to stir so that I could cuddle her.  Instead, every night I take one last look at her on the video monitor before closing my eyes. 

And when she started to prefer being laid down in her crib for naps, what I didn’t expect is that I would miss being trapped.  No longer bound, I watch as she takes everything she can in, constantly learning and on the go.  Oh what I would give to feel the heaviness of her sleeping head on my chest.

A million times over I would overlook the pile of dishes and dust bunnies.  And now, we linger together in the mirror, inspecting each other’s facial expressions, both smiling.  I have a little more time for exercise and cleaning but what I didn’t expect was that I would want those time consuming cuddles back, two-fold.

The fact that things need to get done doesn’t escape me but maybe things can go a little unkempt for this insanely brief time in our lives.  Many mornings she still wakes up to eat before the sun is up.  My heart swells as I shuffle sleepily to her room.  A thousand moments of seeing her happy little face in the darkness as I lean over the rails of her crib wouldn’t be enough. And in the still and quiet, before the rest of the world is up, it is just us two.

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