Tuesday my daughter fell asleep in my arms at the grocery store. We snuggle a lot, but she doesn’t sleep in my arms as much now. I’d forgotten how much I missed it—hot closeness, combined body heat making us both sweaty, feeling her breath and her full weight resting on me—it’s a perfect fit.
After a few moments of awe and revelry and tenderness, I remembered how damn heavy she is and how hard it is to hold a toddler while pushing a full cart of groceries—I remembered the inconvenience of a sleeping baby attached to my body—can I put her down? Will it wake her up? If I put her down and she’s asleep, then I could do dishes, or finish shopping, or have a moment to myself?
It’s so different now—but there's less time spent with her on my body. I miss that. I never thought I would miss that. You don’t miss it until it’s gone—or in my case, until it’s gone and back for a fleeting second. How true.
I parked the cart (full of defrosting peas and soupy popsicles) and swayed with her back-and-forth for awhile. She was sacked out. That’s what they mean when they say “sleeps like a baby.” D came to the rescue and checked out so I could take her to the car. She woke up and clapped for her daddy. She missed us no doubt.
My body, my voice, my touch, my presence gives my daughter relief. When she sees me after a long day at school, she relaxes a little—there is a smile and a sigh—she is relieved and thankful and feels safe and supported and like she is totally okay. I love that I make her feel safe and relieved. That I am the source of her peace and comfort and love. I pray to be that for her for as long as possible. (How long is that possible?) Being a source of comfort is so good for me too—I feel useful and needed and worthy. That I get to be the one that rolls her shoulders back—I give her peace. What a cool, amazing, loving, perfect thing that I can give her…that’s love Baby.
Someone who makes you feel safe and calm and relaxed and that gets you—that’s love. (This is the marker for lovers, friends, and family alike—it’s what we all crave, whether we know it or not.) It’s perfect.
Let the peas melt.