Before the sun comes up

I wake out of a dead sleep.  Lily is crying and yelling, ‘Momma, Momma’ over and over again.  I roll over out of bed and take the fifteen steps to her bedroom.  I open the door, walk in as she is still sniffling ‘Momma’ and pick her up into my arms.  She clutches me tight, like a starfish clings to a rock.  Her legs wrap around my middle and her arms grasp my neck.  Her breathing is quick at first and then slows as I sit down in the cushy rocking chair and rock back and forth back and forth back and forth.  

I am awake, but barely and my eyes and mind wander to sleep as I rock my baby girl.  As I abruptly come out of my slumber, Lily is calmly sleeping in my arms, her breaths deep and slow and perfect.  I thank God for her breath, for this sleeping girl in my arms.  I thank God that I get to rock her like this and that I get the chance to be her mom, even at 4:00 in the morning. 

A child waking in the middle of the night is tough.  I don’t have an infant so I’m not getting up every two hours right now.  That is really really tough, a venti-doubleshot-latte-every-hour-tough.  But, I can speak to my 20 month old toddler getting up every once in awhile for some cuddles.  These moments, the ones that happen unexpectedly, without warning, might make me weary, but they are oh so sweet all at once.

I know in ten years I will wish for these before-the-sun-comes-up cuddles and pray for just one minute of my little girl clutching me tight.  I can’t do anything about time running out on these toddler years, but I can thank God for these moments and try to really, truly experience each and every second she’s here in my arms. 

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