There are nights where I hold you, and we snuggle, and I trace your face, and as you drift off to dreamland, I stare at you in awe of the fact that I made you and that you are mine, hopefully forever.
This is not that night.
Tonight I was hoping you would fall asleep in the car and that I could seamlessly transition you from your car seat to your toddler bed. However, you had a different plan.
You chatted your dad and me up on the drive home and unintentionally kept awake your older two siblings who we also hoped would nod of early to mid-drive.
Now, thanks to you, your brother, your sister and you, my precious ball of fire, bedtime will take another hour.
My daily evening shower will have to wait, as will my stomach counting on it's fourth meal snacks and my brain and body begging for a rest.
Work will have to wait as well, and all those creative juices and word weaponry swirling around in my head, well, let's just pray they are still there when I finally make my way back to my keyboard.
Despite your tired eyes and worn-down voice, you protest that you are not tired, but we both know better, and somehow I convince you to sit on the potty, and you convince me to sing "ABCD song" before climbing under the covers.
When we finally make it to your pint-sized toddler bed, a simple smell reminds me of just how much I suck as a mom.
While you would assume I may be talking about inhaling your innocent still baby-like scent, I am not. I forgot to remove the potty pad from your bed and wash it and that, my dear, is the smell I am referring to.
I replace it, and you hop on in, but not before requesting, (ahem, demanding) that I get my butt in there as well.
Both of us in your bed made for one 3-footer.
You wrapped up in at least four blankets and the pillow on "the cold side."
Me lying cold, and uncovered with a sliver of space to fit my out-of-shape, overweight post-three kids body.
Me soaking up all the "feel-good" this precious moment has to offer.
Me using the quiet minutes beside you to thank God for your presence in my life. Nope.
What could be more critical than ensuring my complete mindfulness at this moment with you which will never be offered to me again? Embarrassingly, my Facebook newsfeed.
Yes, bedtime with you is an every night occurrence, but one day, in the not too far future, it won't be.
There will come a day, and perhaps before I want it to, that you will want to put yourself to sleep, you won't need me to sing for you to feel relaxed and you won't crave my closeness.
I'd be lying if I said I appreciate every minute of motherhood, but I should.
The reality is that the pressure of motherhood, combined with the typical challenges of marriage, the stress of work and my inability to do it all, well, it often leaves me feeling drained and depleted and longing to lose myself in stuff outside of my home, my care and my control -- like social media and other people's status updates.
The thing is, though, on the horizon are many years of me resting and sleeping without a dainty, funny and charming snuggle partner by my side.
On the horizon is me with two free hands, no baby monitors and a half a bed to myself.
I don't want to be her now.
I don't need to be her now.
I want to be the mom who recognizes just how blessed she is to be lying next to a three-foot slice of heaven.
I am ashamed that I am not her every night but proud of my intention to remedy that starting this very evening.
Sometimes I wish away our snuggles and do you know what?
I am ashamed.