Happy New Year!

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My New Years Eve. The day counted as number 8 in a row with hardly any separation between me and the kids. It was a particularly rough one, as far as mood swings and behavior go, but I blame that partially on the fact that we had no plans for the day whatsoever. It just seems to go smoother with an outing or project to break it up. Anywho, the big girl had big plans for New Years Eve this year. She was determined to stay up til 12 (she zonked at 10-til last year), and drink that awesome sparkling apple juice that makes her nose twinge up with every sip. Her daddy, on the other hand, crashed around 9:30 leaving just me and my nearly-six-year-old to ring in 2009 together.

She did amazingly well staying awake, although I may have dozed off on the couch at some point. At 10 til midnight, I could tell she was really struggling to keep those lids up. I sent her on a quick bathroom run to get her blood flowing, refilled her strawberry Nesquick (she was over the sparkling stuff by then) and tried to explain the whole ball-dropping-in-Times Square thing to her. She just thought the ball was cool the way it changed colors and sparkled (it hasn't always looked like that, has it??). We counted down the last 10 seconds together, kissed of course and joked about how glad we were that WE weren't the confetti-cleaner-uppers in NYC. It was a fun time.

Right on cue, it seemed, my little one started fussing in the next room. I ran and gave my hubby a quick "Happy New Year" kiss (which he barely acknowledged) and before I got to my Bug, she had hushed. We decided to call Ma-maw (my mom) real quick, but as I dialed the phone and handed it to her, I poked her in the nose, apparently unleashing all the emotions that come with a six-year-old up three hours past her bedtime... talk about ruining a moment. Anyway, I got her to bed where she asked if she could sleep in in the morning. I said "sure, you can sleep all day if your sister lets you."

I headed to my own bed, but stopped short when I heard another wimper come from the Bug's room. She didn't make another sound, but I felt that little mommy-tug just to take a little peek. I crept into her room and stood at the foot of her bed straining to focus on her face in the dim light. All I could really make out was the outline of her sweet cherub-like face in the darkness. I stared and stared for a few minutes, trying to decide if her eyes were closed, or open and staring directly at me. I stood there for a long time, but I just couldn't tell. She didn't make a sound or movement that suggested she new I was there, but my mind was making me see her open eyes looking right up at me. It almost appeared that she was looking at me with calm contentment - like I was just a dream. I decided to walk up alongside her bed to get a closer look, and the floor creaked under me. I could see her closed eyes more clearly now, but in that moment, they slowly opened and looked right into mine. After a moment, a sweet, wide grin spread across her little face. I could almost read her thoughts as she realized that I was not a dream, but Mommy in the flesh. I bent down, laid my hand on her chest and whispered "Happy New Year Baby" to which she continued to smile and nodded. I asked if she wanted to rock, and again she smiled and nodded. I gathered up her and her big soft blankie & headed for the rocking chair as she rubbed and patted her warm little hand against my back.

As I sat rocking my babygirl in the dark, I thought about a conversation I had had with my mom not long ago. We had talked about how anyone can hold a child, but there is just something about the way YOUR child naturally "fits" into the crook of your arm, the shape of your body. It's so natural. I smelled her sweet hair, kissed her forehead and just rocked. I knew it was one of those moments I wanted to hold onto forever. After a while, I laid her back in her warm bed and again headed for my own.

I didn't quite make it though. I have found myself here, writing out these details so I will never lose them. I want to hold onto my big girl's giggles as we snuggled on the couch, squeezing each other as we watched the ball drop together for the first time, just the two of us. And the smile that spread across my baby's face when she realized I had come to her in the night, just to be close and rock her. These days are going too fast and I will never get them back, but I can remember. And I always will.

Happy New Year! I hope 2009 is a blessed one for us all.


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