A letter to my daughter, for keeping me in the moment

To my darling daughter,

I promised I’d be more present in 2019. So today I did exactly that. We played game after game, we read books, we walked, we climbed, we danced to music…and then we did it all over again.

I didn’t look at my phone once, even though I had work emails coming in. I didn’t put any Instagram posts up, even though I knew it’d slow down our growth.

I just stayed with you, in the moment.

And despite having such a wonderful day together, just before bedtime, you were inconsolable. Perhaps it was separation anxiety. Perhaps you were tired from waking early from your nap. I’ll never really know. All I know is that you cried so hard every time I tried to lower you into your cot. Between those sobs, you clung to me with all your little limbs and said “no mama”. 

I knew in that moment that you needed me to hold you until you fell asleep. So I did. And unlike some other nights where I’ve hoped you’d go to sleep quickly so I could cook, clean, do the washing and do my work, I sat there with you, wholly present. Hoping that I could comfort you, no matter how long it took.

And as we rocked in our chair, I felt your tiny warm body get heavier and heavier. It took me back to those newborn days where you’d fall asleep on me, so content, and so peaceful. I felt your breaths get slower and deeper. I felt your tiny head relax completely. And I just wanted to hold onto that moment forever.

So I stayed and held you for far longer than you needed me. I closed my eyes and breathed you in. And I squeezed you so tight, knowing that this moment wouldn’t come back. Knowing that you’re growing up so quickly, and that the day might soon come where I’m not needed in that way.

So thank you my darling, for today you gave me the greatest gift. You reminded me how important the little things are. You let me hold you for as long as I wanted to. And for a few moments, I felt like time stood still. You don’t know it, but today we created memories — ones that I’ll never forget.

Always, your mama.