There Will be a Last Time | Midnight Thoughts on Motherhood
To my little Gem, Sometimes in the middle of the night, when I hear you wake, I feel so tired and frustrated. I feel like I physically can't wake up...not again. After over four months of interrupted sleep, I feel weary.
But then I roll slowly out of bed, because you need me. I stumble tiredly, eyes half open, to the kitchen for water, then up the stairs and into your room. You're still crying when I pick you up, but you soon stop, searching for food and comfort as I sit with you in the rocker next to your crib.
As I hold you and feed you and meet your needs, it's like I forget feeling frustrated at all. It all falls away with you in my arms.
You are the gift. The gift of all gifts, really. God entrusted you to me, and why? Nothing shows me more of his love than this gift. I don't deserve you. I don't deserve your tiny hands around my finger, or the way you cuddle in close then look back up at me when you're nursing. I don't deserve your sweet coos or beautiful, priceless smiles. I actually don't have words for the smiles. Or the way you look at me, so in love with the one that cares for you and provides for you. I don't deserve any of it.
But God gave me you, anyways, even though I'm undeserving. He gave me you to care for, to love as unconditionally as a human can. To teach and raise and grow. And he gave me this great capacity to love you well, though I make so many mistakes. He gave me perfect, beautiful you. How grateful am I.
So though the thought crossed my mind to just stay in bed when I heard you tonight, you're in my arms now, and I hold you a little longer than I need to. In fact, I do this most nights anymore during these middle-night feedings. Because no matter how tired I am, I am reminded that one day there will be a last time. A last time to wander tiredly upstairs. A last time to pull you up out of your crib. A last time to nurse you. A last time to hold you and rock you. I know you'll grow so fast, it scares me. These slow days are just an illusion, and next thing I know I'll be looking back on how fast the years have gone and you will be grown.
So I don't want to miss it. I don't want to let this magic of you as you are right now slip through my fingers. Though I know each stage of being your mom will be a gift- a challenging, beautiful gift- I'll fight to keep this one as long as I can. I'll fight to savor every moment, even in the tired, the crazy, the stressful, the inconsolable tears. I'll just hold you longer. I'll take in your smell, the way you feel in my arms, your little rolls, your smile, your every detail. And I'll pray I can remember you just like this.