3 AM. I’m awake. Baby girl decided she wasn’t going to sleep like she normally does, and her daddy’s away for the night, so instead of rocking her to sleep and trying to get her back down, I brought her back to my room and let her sleep next to me. My daughter, the heat generator. She’s usually just fine on her own, but on the rare occasion she does curl up next to me, she MUST be touching me, even if it’s just one finger or a tiny foot. As I lie awake in the darkness, listening to her breathe, I’m overwhelmed by the love that I have for this amazing baby girl. I never knew what it was to love with every fiber in my being until I became Mama. Loving my husband is a choice, and one I gladly make, but loving her is innate and uncontrollable, like my beating heart. And so, reveling in my love for my child, I pray for her. I pray that she grows up healthy and strong. I pray that she finds love and happiness. I pray for her future, that it is filled with moments to strengthen but not break her, choices that define her but do not compromise her, and more love and support than she’ll ever need. And now I’ll try to drift off to sleep while this little fire burns so bright curled up beside me.

6 AM. The monster’s awake. Not half-awake wanting a bottle so she can drift back off. AWAKE. And wanting to play. So I get her a bottle and let her play. She’s content talking to her Poppy and Moana and playing with her story book that makes noise. I think she’s finally learning not to get her fingers stuck between the pages. She says “Mama” and brings me a ball, she yells into her stackable cups because she likes the noise, and she shakes and rattles everything just to see what it does. Watching her explore the world around her each day, learning and experiencing new things is a happy pastime and peaceful entertainment. Even running on just a few hours of sleep. Come on, nap time.

We had her sister’s birthday party Saturday. My bonus daughter is 12, full of her own ideas, the self-righteous repetition of the ideas of others, and a rapidly developing talent for drawing the world around her. She asked for a Bendy and the Ink Machine cake, so I did what I could.

Bendy is a character in a computer game she plays, and it wasn’t really all that difficult, but making black fondant is messy. Red velvet cake, cream cheese icing, and fondant on top made a cake that was “really yummy and looked great, too.” I’ll take it.

I haven’t had many projects lately. I’ve done some cleaning and organizing, but I’m really in recovery mode still. My dishes and laundry need attention at the moment, and I don’t really care. I’m spending time with baby girl, recharging my batteries, and mentally and emotionally fortifying myself for the too-quickly approaching school year.

I did go to the Houston Aquarium with a friend and baby O. She wasn’t impressed with the fish, but she seemed to like the tigers. And she absolutely LOVED the splash pad, even if the carousel was a bust. Looks like we’ll be waiting until next year before we attempt the zoo. Between the heat and her disinterest, I’m willing to wait until she cares a bit more before we bother braving the crowds and Texas sun for a few hours she may or may not enjoy.

I’m spending time with Mother and Daddy (Granny and Paw Paw these days) later this week. I’m looking forward to it. They love seeing their granddaughters, and my little munchkin enjoys playing with them. I think she keeps them young. Going back to their house is peaceful.

I’m going to look back on these quiet moments with this darling baby and cherish those memories. It may be next year, or it may be a long way in the future, but I have no doubt I will. And the dishes in the sink and clothes in the bedroom waiting to be folded don’t seem nearly as important as they used to be.


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