If you’re a mom, you’ve crept across a toy littered floor to your child’s bedside to watch your baby sleeping. You’ve smoothed stray locks, wiped warm foreheads, and whispered I love you one more time. Those are savored memories, stowed away treasures.
But our kids have no idea. Most of the time, they sleep right through these moments that only we hold.
The childhood of my daughter, for whom I waited and waited, is beyond precious to me. And like a wonderful novel, I’m constantly balancing between wanting to savor every page and racing to see how it all turns out.
Because someday, she will be an adult and sleeping somewhere else, I wanted to freeze these memories in my heart, for her to know how much I treasure these midnight moments.
Every night while you were sleeping, the last thing I do before bed is kiss you once more.
While you were sleeping . . .
I have kissed your face about 87 million times, conservatively.
I have wished I could hold you one more time without waking you up. And then picked you up anyway.If kids knew the things moms do while they're sleeping. How many kisses you have slept thru. Click To Tweet
When you were not quite a toddler, I would pick you up and rock you in the glider, trying to memorize the weight of you on my shoulder, the way sleep makes your face even more perfectly angelic.
Sometimes, it didn’t break my heart if you woke up and I got to soothe you back to sleep.
I have cried over how fast your babyhood went and simultaneously celebrated your miraculous growing up.
I’ve held your hands, marveling at your still chubby baby fingers on little girl hands.
I have wished you were still small enough to scoop up and snuggle. And then picked you up anyway again.
While you were sleeping, I’ve heard your murmured voice and listened in on your dreams. Some nights your face has danced with smiles, but others was covered in tears.
I’ve whispered brave words against the monsters and nightmares, Mommy’s right here. You’re safe.
I've listened to your dreams, picked you up, covered you in brave words against the nightmares. Click To Tweet
I’ve smelled your head: deep breaths of baby, toddler, little girl. Scents of baby powder and lavender were replaced by green apple and watermelon, then cotton candy.
I’ve sung to you. You are a promise . . . you are a possibility and Sunshine, you are my sunshine . . .
You always need more tucking in, because this blanket is thrown one direction, that sheet wrapped around one foot, pillow on the floor.
I’ve taken pictures of the myriad strange ways I’ve found you.
Almost 2, you snaked your hand through the crib slats to reach the hamper, pulling on an additional pair of pajama pants halfway. Then fell asleep, wearing both pairs.
Once, you scared me to death by not being in your bed; however, I found you in the far corner under it, behind a carefully constructed wall of toy bins.
Perpetually, you sleep like a chalk outline on a detective show. I would need a chiropractor to get out of bed.
Your room magically has been cleaned while you were sleeping.
I’ve reorganized the toys and books that have mysteriously found themselves out and about post-goodnight and wondered about the late-night adventures you were having. Teddy bears wearing costumes sitting with dinosaurs at a picnic or a pile of books next to your nightlight.
I’ve stepped on magic wands, doll high heels (and I thought Legos were bad), and stubbed my toe on a mis-timed step past the glider. Do you know how hard it was not to yell?
Some nights, just needing to share your quiet space, I’ve sat in the glider reading a book, listening to your sweet snores.
But mostly, while you were sleeping . . .
I have prayed over you.
I have prayed for your life, your health, your heart, your salvation. Praying for five minutes more of patience than you have energy, to end everyday with I love you and kisses.
God, make me a better momma. Give me a gentle spirit and a heart to listen to my child. Even when I’m busy, give me joy in each season of motherhood.
I have thanked God for the blessings of you, how I’ve learned to be a better person through raising you, for the laughter you bring.
Life will break your heart. You will have sickness and tragedy, and someday I’ll leave you, but ultimately, I’ve asked God to work everything that happens in your life for your good, including my failures, praying I’m learning humility and grace fast enough to be the mom I hope you’ll remember.But mostly, I've prayed for you, ultimately, for God to work all of your life for your good. Click To Tweet
I’ve prayed to watch you grow up, to see you choose faith, a career, to marry, and to hold your babies in my arms.
But there are no guarantees, so I’ll treasure every moment I get and continue to kiss your face and pray while you are sleeping.