Learning to Say “Yes” to Those Little Mothering Moments
I just fell back into bed after feeding the baby.
Super-tired, head on pillow, drifting back into my sweet slumber.
And then her voice, unwanted, unrelenting, enters my subconscious.
It’s my 4-year-old. Still awake after getting up earlier to go to the bathroom.
You know the sound. She’s calling my name repetitively, not yelling, but summoning me to come to her.
Jumping out of bed and hurrying to her room, all the while shushing her quietly, lest she wake the baby again, I arrive to see her delicate frame leaning over the top of her bed, sleepy eyes peering at me in the darkness.
“What?” I ask, not harshly, but a little impatiently.
“Scratch my back?” She replies in her sleep my voice.
I start my day in 2 hours and 52 minutes, at which point we will be together for every waking moment.
Do I have to?
But for the sake of moving things along so that I can fall back into bed again, I comply.
“Ok, turn over, my girl.”
She flips over onto her side, bare and bony back facing me.
And I scratch her back.
I’ll count to 100, then be done.
Rhythmically I scratch her back.
96, 97, 98, 99, 100.
“Ok my girl, that’s enough. Go to sleep now.”
And that is when she props onto her elbows and leans toward me. Cupping my face in her little hands, she kisses my face. “Goodnight, Mommy,” she whispers, smiling and gazing at me like I had just hung the stars in her sky.
I melt. It’s one of those moments when everything is so clear that I know what matters most. A little snatch of time so perfectly sweet that I think I will remember it forever.
“You’re my favorite girl, you know that?” I ask. She gently nods, sweet smile on her sleepy face.
We say goodnight and I walk out. I fall back into bed, quickly drifting back into my delayed slumber. Heart full and thankful that I had said “yes” to that little, precious mothering moment…the cost was so little, but it meant everything to me.