It's been a long time since I rocked a baby to sleep. I will forever remember that feeling when they completely relax and drift off.
During the girls infancies, in the middle of the night when I hadn't showered in days and could no longer keep track of which side I was nursing, or if it had been one hour or three since the last feeding, it was the moment I lived for.
That is when I felt most "Mommy-ish." It was the hardest, most difficult part of those first weeks and months, but it's also the part that was mine, and mine alone.
That moment of relaxation and sleep was the reward .
Yesterday Ranger slipped on some water in the kitchen and did the classic banana peel fall. She is tough as nails but this really rattled her. So I picked her up and put her in my lap on the recliner. I patted her back and whispered to her.
After a few minutes I went to get up and return to whatever chore was occupying the afternoon, but I caught myself. Why give up this moment? So instead, I clicked the recliner back and nuzzled into her neck and remembered that late night feeling.
Ranger no longer fits on my lap like she used to. She a tall 6 year old and her arms and legs flop over the side of the chair. But she smells the same and she feels the same when she takes that breath, relaxes, and gives into sleep.
No feeling in the world matches that moment when comfort, love, and relaxation come together and your child falls asleep in your arms.