December 3, 2012 by CassieCravings
I am so guilty of it. My mind is counting the hours left in the day and the items left to check off. Too often I spend most of Eli’s bedtime routine rushing while trying to get him still. My mind races as I coax his mind to relax.
Tonight I slowed down.
I scooped up my wriggling, chatting, energetic toddler and cradled him softly. We waltzed about the room as I swayed and hummed. Gradually his breath slowed to the rhythm of our quiet dance. His hair smelled of lavender. I buried my nose into his soft curls. They wisped about my face.
Dimpled fingers rested gently on my neck. He tucked his thumb into his fist. I smiled. I do the same when I sleep. So does my mother. I kissed each finger. Sleepily his mouth turned up to return the smile. His eyes were heavy, but they fluttered as they fought to stay open.
Lazily he murmured about astronauts and outer space, tight ropes and acrobats, and “trash men” driving loud trucks. We continued our dance, slowly, rhythmically. I whispered my prayers into his ears. Gradually his babbling slowed and then stopped, and his head rested heavily on my chest.
My arms ached. My back was sore. And I wondered if I could share in our sleepy dance by this time next year. It saddened me to think that my baby boy might be too big to rock, yet the thought strengthened my arms to hold him for as long as I physically could.
I shifted my snoozing boy so that I could watch his peaceful face. Long lashes rested on his cheeks. His mouth pursed in a quiet snore. His brow furrowed as he wiggled to a comfortable spot nestled in my arms.
As I watched my baby rest, I chided myself for being so quick to rush through his bedtime routine. How many times have I lamented on how quickly he is growing? Yet how many times have I been frustrated that he wouldn’t fall asleep fast enough? I am not fully drinking in every moment.
I knelt by his bed, and he softly rolled from my arms onto his blankets. Quietly I promised to be fully aware and wholly present during every moment. Whether that moment is joyful, frustrating or simply routine, it is ours to celebrate.