Saturday night. Nick is DJing, as usual. The kids and I are hanging out at home, as usual. Damon browsed through the OnDemand movies and rented Avatar. He and I sat on the couch together, with Lizzie sprawled out between us, and watched the movie. We both loved it. I caught him tearing up a time or two, and quickly wiped away my tears so he wouldn’t catch me doing the same.
Avery wandered around the house doing her thing. First she was in the middle of the living room floor playing with her Littlest Pet Shop toys. She grew bored with that (and actually put them away… miracle of all miracles!), then moved on to Legos. She reminded me at 11pm that she hadn’t had a bath yet. I darted to the bathroom and ran her water, then darted back to the tv so I wouldn’t miss much of the movie that I was engrossed in. Noticed that Avery got a nice sunburn while she was fishing with Daddy and the Cub Scouts this afternoon. After her bath, I told her to bundle up in some comfy, warm jammies because I knew she’d be feeling chilled from her burn.
Avery joined us for the last 20 minutes of the movie. She was super cuddly in her brother’s old sweatpants and a big sweatshirt, and I didn’t object when she curled up in my lap. There’s something absolutely irresistible about a child who is bundled up in warm, comfy clothes. Even though she’s no longer a baby and she doesn’t always fit very well on my lap, tonight she curled up with her head on my chest… and she fit perfectly.
And I didn’t want to let that moment pass. I wrapped my arms around her and couldn’t stop kissing her head. For that moment, she was my baby again… a perfect fit in my arms. For that moment, it didn’t seem like six long years since the day she was born… since she actually WAS a tiny baby who fit perfectly in the crook of my arm with her head on my chest.
I spend a lot of time looking back and trying so hard to remember those moments. The moments that I will never get back… the memories that have faded so much that I can barely remember what my babies felt like in my arms. Tonight, holding Avery, I knew that, in six more years, she definitely won’t fit on my lap… and won’t want to be there even if she did! I know that in six years, I will try to remember what it felt like to cuddle with her when she was six.
So, I sat there and held her for as long as we both could stand it, even after the movie ended. I held her and kissed her and cried, thinking about how much I will miss these days in six more years. I looked at the clock and noted the time at one point… it was 11:47pm. I told myself that I would remember this moment forever. So that I could call it up whenever I’m missing my babies and I can’t remember how it felt to cuddle them. But I know that this memory will fade in time, too. It won’t be as clear next week… and a year from now it will be totally forgotten.
I don’t want to forget that moment, so I’m capturing bits of it here. I won’t get that moment back, but at least I can read this and maybe it will spark a memory that I can revisit when I miss my cuddly baby girl.