( rainy autumn mornings at home )
( second, or third? afternoon cup because it's been that kind of week )
( this cake, which was nearly devoured completely )
( this completely dried out eucalyptus plant, still serving as a bookshelf decoration )
( little pieces of home )
( usual breakfast of scrambled eggs, this time with a half concha from our local bakery )
( and finally, you would think she misses her dance class or something... )
Every night my daughter falls asleep in my arms. People warn me she will never learn to sleep on her own, that I should move her to a crib in her own room or I'll forever be sorry. Naturally, I don't listen. We develop a successful bedtime rhythm, Erick and I. While he's responsible for stories in the rocking chair with Sofia, I take Alba to the bed and we nurse and sing.
The moonlight spills in from our bedroom window and she glows in a pearlescent softness. Her skin is warm and her golden curls tickle the backs of my arms. I wonder what she's thinking. This night strikes me in a different way. As I watch her gentle breaths become slow, comforted, I glance over and am utterly confused by what I see; there lies a young woman, 17 going on 18. She's broken over a friendship or a boy, I'm not sure which. She has draped herself in my arms and I clutch her close to my chest, brushing her straw yellow hair from her forehead and kissing her once, softly, I tell her, "Darling, you are loved and so incredibly beautiful. Your potential is limitless. Nothing can keep you down for long, and if you stumble, just reach for my hand. You already have everything you need to succeed within you, right here," as I point to her heart.
The entire moment engulfs me and it plays out in my mind like a feature film. In this piece of time I am able to see the future and feel an overwhelming responsibility in providing my daughters a foundation of immense and powerful love in which they can always rely on. Strength, worth, and the unabashed ability to be themselves.
Suddenly, I'm pulled back to the present dimension.
Alba is 17 months old currently, going on 18 months. Her rounded cheeks draw milk from my breast and she's still a child - a child, but one who is growing much faster than I initially realize. Her features are misleading, some days she seems so small and others have me convinced I'm seeing her many years ahead of this time.
As I soar through my mind, blissfully high on oxytocin hormones, it is crystal clear just how instinctual and raw motherhood truly is. Nurturing a child can be frighteningly powerful; stuck again in the bittersweet, lucid limbo of transient moments, I pull so close to the hypnotic warmth of the sun that my wings begin to melt. Some nights everything is beautiful and perfect, so I wish upon a star to remember forever. Tucked away, deep in my heart for safekeeping.
I want to stay here.
Smiling to myself over this marvelous dream, I lay my daughter down and cover her softly with a blanket.
For now, my dear, you are little.