Before I even open my eyes, I can feel her there. Her body strategically placed in such a way that if I dare move it will sound her internal alarm and her eyes will snap open. She could be in the deepest sleep but if I so much as cough it’s all over for me.
So I stay still. I watch her sleep peacefully. I am in awe of how beautiful she really is.
I scold myself for being so impatient that I can’t lay with her in the quiet of the morning without worrying about all the things on today’s to do list. I remind myself that one day, before I even know it, she won’t want to spend her lazy Saturday mornings with me in bed. I should be enjoying this moment.
The truth is I’m mentally making a list of different ways I can elevate myself out of the bed without causing her to stir.
I just need a moment alone.
Before all the craziness of the day begins. Before I start being pulled in a million different directions. Before I’ve disappointed someone by not putting enough maple syrup on their pancakes.
I just need a moment alone.
From the second she came into this world she clung to me. As a baby she slept best when she was snuggled up beside me and as a toddler she was known to climb up my legs, even when I was sitting on the toilet. She kept a firm and tight grip and would hold on for dear life when someone would try and take her from my arms. She was like a little koala bear always clinging to my side.
Sometimes I was judged for it, shrugging off the comments about how “she only wants mummy” when they gave up trying and left her at my side.
I made the assumption that it was because I was the hand – or the breast – that fed her. I figured there was some sort of animal like instinct coming through that caused her to need to be near me.
Five years later and she’s still the same. She crawls up on my lap any chance she gets. She slowly sneaks from her chair to mine during dinner. Her fingers magically find my ears no matter where we are and she begins to play with my earlobe like it’s the most normal thing to do.
My daughter is a naturally affectionate child. She loves to hug, kiss and cuddle. She wants nothing more than to be near and close to those she loves.
Sometimes I find myself annoyed. I want to be able to sit and read a book without someone crowding me. I would love to watch a movie without sweating underneath the weight of a five year old. I dream of the day that I can sleep without feet kicking me in my back.
Then again maybe not.
In just a few short years she will no longer call to me in the night. The day will come when she will spend her free time out with her friends. I dread the day she keeps her worries to herself. Soon, she will want to see the world. Those seeds are already planted and I can see those roots settling in.
One day, a day that is coming much sooner than I would like, she will follow her dreams and those dreams will lead her away from this house, out into the world.
In those moments when I feel the need to be alone, I take a few minutes. Maybe a warm bath with a book, or an evening out with my husband. Then I come home and my heart swells as she sighs and wraps her little arms around my neck in her sleep.
Truth is, I need her cuddles just as much as she needs to give them. I will have all the time in the world to sit on my own on the couch. One day the bed will seem very empty with just the two of us and dinnertime will eventually turn to quiet adult chatter with no little ones trying to crawl on my lap and steal from my plate.
The years pass so quickly and the moments I take for granted now will soon become my most prized memories. This has been my biggest lesson so far in this parenting journey; even when the days fly by in a blur and my world seems to be utter chaos eventually these moments will be no longer.
I remind myself of this as she snuggles in closer and I try to grab five more minutes of sleep on a lazy Sunday morning.
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