The other day, my 3-year-old daughter wanted to crawl into my lap so we could “talk.” I was trying to get dinner ready and clean up the kitchen, and at first I was frustrated by her request. But I decided to acquiesce, and we snuggled on the couch. She played with my hair and put her hands on my cheeks. Looking at me intently, examining my facial features with such purpose, and then taking my hand into hers, she said, “Mommy, I just love you.”
It was one of those instances of motherhood that is just so tender, so perfect, that if I could have frozen time and bottled up that moment to hold it forever, I would have. It was a point in time where I shut out the rest of the world so I could take in the bliss and bask in this tender moment shared between my daughter and me. And at the same time, it absolutely broke my heart to think that one day she will no longer crawl into my lap to place her hand in mine.
One day, she will grow up. And I am so thrilled to be part of that journey. There has been nothing more wonderful than watching my daughter go from a tiny, five-pound infant to a vivacious and curious preschooler captivated by the world around her. But while I love watching her grow, my heart aches to keep her little, to stop time, to preserve her innocence and delight in the world.
Each evening when I hug her goodnight, I think to myself that I could not possibly love her any more than I already do. And then, the next day, my love for her somehow expands, and I cannot get over the fullness of my heart. Just when I think being her mother couldn’t get any better, somehow it does. I worry, however, that I’m too busy and preoccupied to appreciate the wonder and joy my daughter brings into my world.
So for Mother’s Day this year, I don’t want to make elaborate plans. I don’t need expensive gifts. I want to enjoy my daughter. I want to do my best to suspend time for the day and soak in her essence, forget the busyness and chaos around me, and relish in the joys of motherhood. And I want to remember to take in these moments as best as I can, all year round. Moments are fleeting and elusive, but I will try to safeguard them in my heart.