31 Days:: The Breezy Summer Nap
DAY 2: The Breezy Summer Nap
I had a flashback the other day.
I was on my bed reading when my sixth-grader climbed onto the bed and laid down facing me. Sensing she wanted to chat about something, I scooted down and faced her as we tried to figure out how to arrange our tangle of legs and arms. And that’s when it happened.
Without any conscious effort at all, I was immediately transported to a moment when she was about four months old and she and I took a nap on the bed in the middle of a breezy summer day. We were in the upstairs bedroom at my in-law’s house, on top of a quilt-covered queen-sized bed. The window was open and a faint cool breeze drifted into the room. I was nursing her as we were both lying on the bed facing one another, her squishy little diapered butt in my right hand, my head propped up on a pillow, my left arm cradling her head and torso as I held her to me.
She smelled like a combination between fresh breast milk and crustified spitup in her neck rolls. She wore a soft, pink little jumper and I was in my typical baggy T-shirt and sweats. I don’t recall having showered for a few days and I was exhausted. As she drank her fill, she and I both drifted off to sleep right there on top of that scratchy purple quilt. We breathed deeply and rhythmically together as our bodies gobbled up some much needed rest.
About a half hour later, I woke up to find my lips on top of her perfectly round, peach-fuzzed head. While she slept on, I laid still and breathed her in. I prayed for her health and her safety and for a lifelong love of Jesus to grow in her precious, tender little heart. I prayed for her future spouse and for my and her dad’s many years of decision-making that we still had ahead of us. I begged God to help us not screw her up too terribly. And I asked Him to please protect her from all wicked and perverse people all the days of her life. I prayed that God would give me the strength and wisdom and courage I needed to do this immeasurably challenging task of raising a girl in this corrupt yet beautiful world. I remember feeling very overwhelmed with that task.
And I also remember feeling a sense of “can her growing-up ever come quick enough?” It seemed as though she would stay tiny and burdensomely needy always. It felt like she would never grow big enough to talk intelligently and communicate her feelings without screaming all night long. I feared I didn’t have the patience or the know-how to raise her well.
And now here she is: almost a full 12 years old. She’s tall and slender, not small and squishy anymore. Her lower leg alone is now longer than her entire body was during that summer nap at grandma’s house. And her fuzzy little head has been replaced by long, silky, golden locks. Her formerly round, cherub-like face is now the gorgeously crafted face of a young lady, with cheekbones that are just plain envious to behold. And whereas her eyes used to hold only questions and wonder, they now pierce with a wisdom and a knowing beyond her years. She is kind-hearted, generous, intelligent, and witty.
She’s grown so much.
Those days that I thought would never end have, in fact, come and gone and I hardly even had time to notice their passing.
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What about you?
What were your babies like back in the days when they needed you every moment? How do you handle the reality that time is, in fact, marching on?
Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.