Whoever coined the phrase that the days go slow but the years go quick must have had 10 kids. Yesterday was one of those days. Michael has been out of town and the nanny called out sick so this week it’s just been me and Noe. We were up early and out on our run while you could still feel the night frost in the air.
The late afternoons are always toughest for us. Noe is tired but it’s too late for a nap and too early to start bath time. We’d already Facetimed with my sister, like we do almost every afternoon. As an aside, Sarah and I have gotten in the habit of doing 20 minutes of abs each afternoon together. It helps break up the day and I have to say, my abs are feeling stronger than they have in a long time!
On this particular afternoon Noe was fussy. We had moved from the bumbo, to the exersaucer, from the playmat, to the bed, to the mirror, to the bedroom floor. We read books, sang songs, played peekaboo, chewed on everything imaginable (her not me), jumped into some handstands (me not her) and finally just took to lying on the couch together.
I was spent, emotionally and physically. And just when I was about to check my phone to see how many more minutes there were until we could start the bath, she laid one of those big open mouthed kisses on my cheek. Then another. And another. She made the mawwwww noise and every time she pulled back she had a giant smile on her face.
That’s when that Darius Rucker’s song came to mind, It Won’t Be Like This for Long. Some days feel impossibly long but before I know it the times of just the two of us at home all afternoon will feel like a distant memory. Just like those afternoons when I would read entire books while she nursed in my arms have somehow vanished. Or the two hours pinned to the rocking chair while she slept have somehow morphed into her sleeping in her crib, thank goodness.
It’s all so impermanent and fleeting. I know every parent says that but I’m trying to remind myself on the tougher days. There will come a time when she won’t always want her mom every second. Or feel comforted by my hands holding hers, the whirl of the fan and the warmth of her mama. Soon she won’t tolerate me putting on old country songs and dancing around the living room with her in my arms. There will come a morning when I’ll walk into her room and instead of being met by a full body smile, I’ll come face to face with a grumpy teenager.
So I’m taking a beat to soak in those open mouthed kisses and the weight of her body slung across my chest. I’m savoring that baby smell and the soft little hands and taking a million pictures and remembering, good or bad, that it won’t be like this for long.
Enjoy and Exhale!