Between the chaos and the mess . . .
Between the yelling and the crying . . .
Between the naps and the feedings . . .
There is pure perfect bliss.
I rock my baby slowly, listening to her shallow breaths, smelling the Johnson's shampoo in her hair.
Her chubby hand grips mine without knowing she's doing it, as though some ancient instinct is telling her to hold on because only I can keep her safe. Probably the same instinct that tells me to linger a little longer in her room.
I should be washing dishes, folding laundry, catching up on the latest television series.
I should be sleeping, preparing for a new day.
But here, snuggled with her in our rocking chair, is when I come alive.
I crave her — her scent, her touch.
So much of the day is about survival, about getting through unscathed. Every morning I run from school drop-off to baby gym to the grocery store and back to school pick-up. I multitask, I panic, and I inevitably fail at least once a day.
I smell like sour milk and haven't-showered-in-three-days. My kids' clothes don't always match and I haven't seen the floor in my car for years. Life moves too fast to keep up with the chaos.
But in her room, in the dark, time slows down. The world outside crashes by as usual, but I dreamily spend hours watching the corners of her mouth turn up slightly as she dreams.
I spend days listening to the sound of her breath, content and safe in my arms.
I know eventually I will spend years dreaming with her about her future and what it will hold.
But today, in this moment, my dreams are with her here in her tiny room. She is everything I've ever wanted, the living embodiment of my satisfaction. I dreamed her into being. I conceived her, carried her first inside me and later in my arms. She lives so peacefully and effortlessly in these moments in between the diapers and the teething. It is here that I feel most connected to her spirit.
She is me, and yet she is so much more, already a unique and perfect soul. And it both comforts and slays me that long after I am gone I will live on in her.
But for now I live for these moments. The moments in between.