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Don’t let me forget their littleness

It must be the timing of my oldest granddaughter finishing her first year of college and my youngest granddaughter’s 4-month wellness check that made this piece written by Rasha Rushdy so touching but man, did this tug at my heart. It goes by so incredibly fast.

 

Here I sit, between them on my bed, the toddler on my left and the baby on my right. They’re fast asleep, peacefully dreaming of the things little ones dream about. If I listen closely, I can hear their steady, soft breaths and see their little chests rising and falling almost in unison.

In this still, quiet moment, I beg the universe:

Don’t let me forget.

Don’t let me forget the way her fine, silky baby hairs tickle the tip of my nose as I breathe in her perfection or the way she giggles as I bury my head into the cushiony folds of her chubby neck. She smells like milk, soap and baby powder, even though I didn’t put any baby powder on her. She smells like love and hope and some magical, mysterious ingredient that only babies possess.

Don’t let me forget the gentleness of those soft, spongy, warm little hands. The little hands that clutch me like I am everything she needs. The little hands that graze and bat at me when she wakes up too early and I put her in the bed next to me and try to steal a few more minutes of sleep. The little hands that reach up and trace the outline of my face while I nurse her. The little hands that linger and hold onto me for that tiny bit longer, reluctant to release their grasp, as I place her into her cot at night.

Don’t let me forget my superpowers. My power to kiss away an ouchie, hug away sadness, hum away a bad dream and soothe any and every fear or worry. My power to know exactly what she needs when even she doesn’t really know. My power to calm her by simply being close by.

Don’t let me forget the heaviness of a drowsy head dozing off in the crook of my arm while she nurses or the weight of a warm, tousled, freshly bathed head on my shoulder with little arms wrapped snugly around my neck.

Don’t let me forget the sound of little feet on my floor. Little feet running while she delightedly waits for me to chase her. Little feet treading slowly into my room in the middle of the night when she’s frightened by the thunder. Little feet squeaking on the tiles as she follows me around the house, wanting to do nothing more than whatever it is that I’m doing.

Don’t let me forget the way she fits perfectly onto the curve of my hip, as if it was designed just for her or the way her strong, chubby legs kick excitedly as she watches what I’m doing while I sway her gently, or the way her warm little hand rests on my back.

Don’t let me forget the way she pronounces certain words in her own unique way or the way she imitates my intonation or the sound of her singsong voice as she narrates one of her brilliant made-up stories.

Don’t let me forget the way everything seems to glow as we lay in bed together on lazy mornings, while they roll around with each other and giggle and squeal, and I watch them, tiredly, proudly, gratefully, wondering by what stroke of luck these two were chosen to be mine.

Don’t let me forget their littleness. Because sometimes, that littleness is what makes me wish they would just grow up faster, sleep for longer, be more independent, give me more personal space, give me some freedom and let me just do what I want to do, for once.

But it is that littleness–that precious, fleeting littleness–for which I will one day ache and yearn and desperately, dearly miss.

So while I have it now, let me bask in it that little bit longer, breathe them in that little bit deeper and hold onto them that little bit tighter, because who knows how quickly this sweet, sweet littleness will pass.

Don’t let me forget.

Don’t let me forget.

Please, don’t let me forget.