My kids drive me as nuts as anyone else's kids. I'm the first to admit it. I love my kids dearly, but there are times when I could chuck them out the window (not really, of course!). Last night was not one of those nights. Last night was one of those nights when the stars align just perfectly and your experience with your kids turns into one that you dreamed and imagined when you became pregnant with your firstborn and didn't know how much they would turn your life upside down and inside out.
Last night, at 9:21 PM, my two year old, Zoe, cried out from her crib through the monitor down into the family room where I was watching a Food Network Challenge with Brendan. I got up to go get her, as is my usual routine if her crying doesn't stop on its own in a few minutes. Zoe is an excellent sleeper, and rarely cries out in the night, so on the occasions that she does, I go into her room, pick her up out of her crib if she wants me to, wrap a blanket around her and sit in the rocking chair in her room and rock with her. As I was rocking her last night, all snuggled close to me, she peaked up at me, to see what I was doing. I looked down at her and smiled. Zoe then smiled at me, with thumb still in mouth. I about melted into a puddle on the floor. Then I leaned over and kissed her forehead and told her, "I love you." She whispered some incoherent response and stroked my face with her soft baby hand. I then kissed her hand, whereupon she stretched out her fingers for me to kiss each one. After kissing each finger on that hand, she outstretched the fingers on her other hand, still keeping her thumb in her mouth. I of course kissed each tiny finger until she closed her hand back into a fist. I sat there in absolute awe at the perfectness of the moment when Zoe again reached her little hand, with skin softer than anything I've ever felt in my life, and rubbed my arm. She has a beautiful gentleness and sweetness that I want to soak up every chance I get. As she is probably my last, I truly cherish each time I rock her close to me, knowing I won't be able to do it forever, hoping I remember how wonderful and peaceful it feels.
I glance at the clock, see that I've been in her room five minutes, and tell her it is time to go night night. Zoe says, "Nigh, Nigh" back to me, lays down in her crib and sleeps until morning.