My baby, who is no longer a baby but a bright and vivacious four-year-old, is sick.
Oh, it is just a cold, I think... she is not feverish, as she would be with the flu... but she has an incredibly deep, rumbly, wet cough, and her nose is running like a faucet. Her normally quick, teasing grin is painfully red and chapped, her bright eyes now bleary. Its disturbing to me, as her mother, to see her suffer and know that about all I can do is push fluids and comfort her.
Around 2am, I awoke to the sound of her coughing, then listened as she padded down the hallway and crawled into bed with me. For my normally-independent little munchkin to seek comfort from me like that felt so wonderful. I hate to see my children sick, but love the opportunity to nurture them. Tonight after supper, she fell asleep in my lap as I cradled her and visited with her daddy. Other than the fact she feels so awful, it was a mother's Nirvana.
That little girl is growing so fast and will soon fit into my lap like her older sister does now... about as well as a baby giraffe. So I cherish these moments, attempting to file their memory away in a fireproof corner of my brain, to be savored when these little girls are grown and have families of their own.
I waited so long to have children, but not by choice... my husband and I married seven years before we were blessed with our first daughter, and it was another seven before we welcomed the second (and so yes, that does add up to nearly twenty years... did I also mention that I married young? LOL). That experience gave me great resolve to stay at home and care for them in person during their childhoods, something I will never regret. Even so, the time just flies by in the busy-ness of everyday life, and at times even I need to slow down to cherish and savor the moment. I guess this is yet another example of a blessing in disguise.