What Matters Most

I have had a hellacious four weeks. I won't bore you with all of the juicy details behind the statement but, suffice it to say, that with everything else that's gone on this year it's the holy grace of God that sustains me! Today was especially hard. I'm up against deadlines and then all hell broke lose on something I was working on and I hate it when that happens.  I couldn't wait to get in the car to have a good cry.  Because on top of "regular" life, I have mami moments that knock me off my feet on a pretty regular basis.  I didn't get a chance to cry on the drive (because not even my tears are following my schedule!).  I got home after spending a  little time over at dad's with the frog princess just in time to put her to bed. I wasn't happy at this total lack of QT.  More and more I am realizing how little time I have with my baby girl.  And in all honesty, it breaks my heart.

We go through our routine.  The milk, the short giggles on the bed while she attempts to run away from me.  I say our prayers, I pick her up, we say goodnight to the fairies in her room and when I set her down in her crib and go to walk out, she starts crying.  Outside of the door, the guilt washes over me.  I start to think.  My poor baby girl! How little time I spent with her today. How complicated life seems with all of the stresses of work, with all of the time away from home, with the time I spend working at home, etc. Two minutes after setting her down, when she starts calling mama as she's crying, I can't take it and I go to pick her up.

We go to my bed where I hold her and she stops crying.  Enter mami tears previously scheduled for the babyless portion of my drive. The frog princess, keenly in-tuned with me sits and looks at me.  As I cry I apologize.  For not having spent enough time with her today.  For not being able to stay home with her, for forgetting to pack the right amount of clothes to take with her to the caregiver this week, for having to put her to bed immediately after coming home.  At one point, she reaches out and pats me on the arm.  A move she started doing less than 24 hours after mami passed away.  She then reaches out to hug me and keep me close.  This act, of course, makes me cry even harder.  She grabs her burp cloth and blots my eyes and welcomes me to take it.  She gives me a DVD cover that was on the bed.  She even gives me Clifford.  All the while she is jabbering away, calmly. Obvious to me, explaining something.  With a serene look on her face that reminds me of mom.  She talks and pats and hugs me.  I imagine she's telling me the secret to happiness.  The inevitability of life.  The total stupidity behind worrying.  Because all that matters is this moment.

My daughter, normally asleep at that time, cried in her crib until I came to get her.  I went into her room fully expecting to do what I am supposed to do, what I feel I was born to do: comfort her during her time of need.  Instead, she reminded me of what matters.  And she provided me with a level of comfort no one else could.  With her simple jibberish and her powerful touch she gave me the peace that I'd been missing all day.  When she felt like I was okay, she put her head down and invited me to lie next to her as we often do. She imparted a little more wisdom on her mami then sat up and picked up her things (burp cloth and Clifford).  This is my sign that she is ready to go in her crib.  We went back through our routine. Saying goodnight to the fairies, hugs and kisses and I love you's.  I put her down in the crib and she quietly looked at me as I walked out, stopped at the door, told her I loved her one last time and wished her a good night.  I already can't wait for our quiet time in the morning.

Remembering what matters most...

Photo credit: Andree Mora (A Love of Light)