My three year old daughter woke me up today… at 5:17 in the morning… with her big blue eyes and her cute little voice, piercing through the peaceful silence of morning slumber.
“MOM-MEEEE, I WATCH SCOOP DOOO?!?”
Of course, she meant Scooby Doo. Still attempting to bury myself in dreamland, I instantly knew she was referring to the new DVD she had gotten yesterday.
“Sure kid, just go make Mommy a cup of coffee first.” Ugh… I knew I shouldn’t have taken that sleeping pill at 11.
Apparently, somewhere between learning shapes and singing our ABC’s, I had forgotten to teach my child the important stuff. Like, how to make coffee. I was on my own….
Bleary eyed and staggering to the kitchen, I knew, that mornings like this would soon be a thing of the past. As exciting as this prospect was, I also knew, that when the day came I would miss them immensely. Just as now, I miss those quiet hours of the night, when no one was awake but me and her. All of her innocence of infancy mine to enjoy.
Sure, consciously it was a complaint. Pacing the floor of my bedroom for hours on end, rocking and singing to this demonic screaming thing in my arms that simply refused to fall back asleep, was sort of a pain. Where was the damn ‘OFF’ button!
I knew that when 3 am came, I would not want to wake up for work. I knew that after a 10 hour day, I would fight dozing off on my drive home. I knew that after inhaling dinner, that I would struggle to focus through my 4 hour long college class that evening. I knew that when 11pm came, I would anxiously crawl into bed, sleep finding me before my head even found the pillow.
Secretly though, those wee hours of the night, the hours when it was just me and her, were my favorite hours of the day. Because in between her overtired cries and my overtired frustration, we would share giggles and smiles and laughter that no one else would ever feel the joy of, aside from me and her. I wouldn’t have traded those moments for all the sleep in the world.
In a few weeks my darling daughter, with her big blue eyes and her cute little voice, will turn four years old.
In just a few, achingly short weeks, that beautiful baby will never again be three. She will be a big, independent, four year old. Moving into childhood, further and further away from the baby that I rocked for hours on end. In the blink of an eye, she will be waking in the morning all on her own. I’ll be lucky to feel the wind through my hair as she whisks past me on her way out the door to school.
But… I’ll still be sitting here. My morning cup of coffee in my hand, snuggled on the couch, watching Scooby Doo… wishing for just one more today. One more cry ripping me from my sleep to watch Scoop Dooo. One more sound of childhood laughter. One more squeal of innocent excitement. One more sleepless night.
In the meantime… I guess I’ll just work on remembering to set my programmable coffee pot.