Tonight as she was falling asleep, Charlotte rolled over to face me, stroked my arm softly and whispered, “You’re so beautiful, mama.”
Motherhood is complex. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and depleting and fulfilling and too much and not enough and… well, fill-in the blank with any number of things and it’s those too.
There are moments when I wonder what we were thinking bringing a child into this world. Like when her full plate of dinner has gone untouched and she is begging for a pre-bedtime snack. Or when she’s on the floor screaming because she wants to wear gingerbread man knee socks with her shorts and tank top and I tried to put on plain old white ankle socks. Or when I look at her and ask her not to _______ and she gets that look in her eye like some invisible force has double dog dared her to do it anyway and then she does and all hell breaks loose.
And then there are moments like that one tonight when it all feels so right.
I can imagine my life without Charlotte in it. A life where I am well rested and have disposable income. A life where I get to sit on the couch with my wife in the evenings and watch a few shows while we enjoy a bottle of wine. A life with less laundry and more happy hours. Sometimes, that life is so tempting.
But then my little girl whispers, “Snuggle me, mama,” and her little fingers reach out for mine and her presence fills every bit of space I have inside me. She makes me whole in a way that all of the disposable income in the world never could.
Catch is sick, so tonight, I am going to crawl into bed with my little girl. She will dig her heels into my rib cage and lie perpendicular on the mattress so that I only have about 2 inches of space at the edge of the bed, but I will savor every last second of that closeness.
My baby girl.
I am so incredibly lucky to be her mother.