Tonight I lingered.
After a long day in the city my baby was tired. We spent it having a voice lesson, wedding planning with a friend, and eating Figo and cupcakes with Daddy and Lisa. EJ was weary and cried most of the way home. She fell asleep with a bag of pillow stuffing in her hands. When we got home daddy had to pry it out of her sleeping death grip before taking her up to the nursery. I walked through the very quiet and dark house with an arm full of bags hoping I wouldn't bump in to the many obstacles on the living room floor.
I stopped to talk to my mother before going up for the evening. At some point during our warm conversation the cry of my baby travelled down the stairs and through the hallway to my ears. The mother in me leaped instantly to wrap things up and to go to her. She was unhappy about being woken up to get a clean diaper and soft jammies. After her daddy readied her for bed I scooped her up and went to the blue chair in her nursery. She began to nurse and her eyes closed slowly the way they always do when I know she is just about a goner. Her breathing deepened and got louder and rhythmical. Adagio. She was out.
I sat there ready to get up and transfer her to her crib but I couldn't move. I couldn't move because she was just so beautiful. I couldn't move because there she was growing right before my eyes. With each breath I knew her body was stretching a little longer.
I took her in. I brought her up closer to me and rested my cheek on the top of her head. This is something she will never let me do while she is awake. She is already rearing her independent spirit. I took advantage of that moment and lingered with my lips swooshing back and forth on her soft hair. My arms rested back down so that she was in simple view of the soft pink glow of Daddy-rose-light. The light landed on the tips of her eyelashes and scattered across her long body.
In that instant she looked older and for that I cried. The gratitude for this time with my Evaleigh Joy deepened. I love her so.
Tonight, I lingered.