To someone living outside my perspective, today, my first Mother’s Day, didn’t proceed in any unusual or special manner. In fact, in a lot of ways, it proceeded just like a normal Sunday.
And yet all those normal moments are so special because, at long last, I am a mother.
My day started before sunrise. Babycakes has been sleeping a lot better overall, though we’ve had several disrupted nights as she’s actively cutting teeth. Last night, she woke up twice needing to nurse, the second time around 5:00 am. She was awake again at 6:00, at which point the hubs brought her to our room so I could nurse her a little more (she really didn’t finish the first time) while laying in bed. Of course, being snuggly and warm resulted in her finally falling back to sleep.
So there I lay, tummy to tummy with my beautiful daughter, my husband curled against me on the other side. Not sleeping because of my hyper vigilance any time we bring Babycakes to bed in the early morning like that, but feeling completely blessed because, in that quiet pre-dawn time, I was literally surrounded by the peaceful warmth and breathing of the two people I love most in the world.
Somehow, Babycakes managed to get crying hard enough to revisit part of her breakfast while the hubs was getting her dressed for church (fortunately while down to her diaper). And I felt the sweetness of being needed in that desperate, deep baby-sigh of relief when she saw me walk back into the room, her beautiful, long-lashed eyes following mine as I murmured quietly to her, got her cleaned up, and dressed.
We did go out for a late lunch, and there I was able to enjoy the dimpled smiles as Babycakes took everything in, waving to strangers and making friends with another baby sitting nearby. The peals of laughter as we played peekaboo with our napkins.
Even though the nursing gymnastics in the car before we headed back home meant a failed feed and a rather fussy baby, the way Babycakes curled against me when we got home and nursed until nearly asleep for an early evening nap made up for it. Her little warm hand pressed against my shoulder. Her knees tucked up against my side. Her feet daintily crossed at the ankles, as she’s done while nursing since the day she was born.
The splashes and giggles during bath time while I sang “Rubber Ducky” and “Under the Sea.”
The way the hubs got her riled up during the pre-bed playtime, even knowing it would take a little extra effort to bring her down from the high.
When it was time to go upstairs and get ready for bed, she pulled herself up to standing by tugging on my pants, then reaching with her chubby arms for me to pick her up.
More nursing gymnastics that settled to the tunes of “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”, as they do every nap and bedtime, cuing her to drift toward dreamland in the soft glow of her crystal nightlight.
A last sip of water as she rested her heavy head against my shoulder, then turned to wrap her arms around my neck with a sigh.
Up to turn off the crystal nightlight.
Retrieving the musical giraffe and turning it on just before laying her in her crib.
Watching her lay her hand beside the glowing tummy of the giraffe as it started cycling through the seven or eight tunes it plays three times before turning off.
Little tired eyelids going blink, blink, blink.
And my day ends watching her watch the yellow light of the giraffe slowly fade to darkness as the music plays on, tonight with no final glance in my direction to see if I’m still there.
Then there is nothing but her soft breathing, the whir of the white noise machine, and the slight creak in the floor as I lean over to adjust her blanket before tiptoeing out and closing the door.
She will probably wake at least once in the night and need us. She may go readily back to sleep for the hubs, or she may need me to nurse her back down. But even those middle of the night times, as frustrating as they can be and as tired as I sometimes feel, are just part of the sweetness of being a mother.
Every moment so normal and mundane. And yet every moment worth treasuring.