There is something about the last few minutes before bed or a nap. This little one is so snuggly. She will back peddle, scootch right into my lap, and look up at me. She lays her head back for a moment and sniffs her blanket. I know she is beyond tired, but these precious few minutes are so sweet that I allow her to linger. Perhaps, it is her way of procrastinating, but it reminds me of when she was a tiny baby and wanted to be held all the time. I notice her wanting to do everything on her own now and it is these quiet moments that I don't ever want to forget.
Pinky is her comfort when she is tired. All three of our children have a blanket they use when they sleep. Our oldest has a scrap of his, but after 6 years, he still sleeps with it. The many nights, naps, and trips out when they were too tired or sick to leave their beloved blankies at home. I know this sole pink blanket will be ripped and shredded very soon. Replacements will be ordered. Pinky has gotten us through the last days of nursing, fevers and teething, and sleeping on trips away from home. It smells just like her.
It is so hard to believe that 18 months have passed since she was born. Days are not perfect. There are tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. But, she turns it on before bed. She scampers out from the bathtub and lies right on the floor, ready to be dressed in her jammies. I know she is exhausted. It's tough keeping up with two older brothers all day. I pick her up and she leans her little head against mine and pats my shoulder with her tiny hand. It melts my heart. I lay her down in her crib. She snuggles up with Pinky and gives me a very enthusiastic "Bye-Bye".
Maybe it's because I know this is our last baby, I am hanging on to every single memory. I keep trying to etch these moments into my brain or write about it so I don't forget these sweet memories. Maybe I'm just getting older and it's hard to remember anything! As they grow, we also grow as parents. We become more observant, more patient. I am learning to find comfort in the tender moments, amidst the chaos of the day, and know that although it seems they are growing much too quickly, we are all growing together.
Photographed on film.