The twins were right in the middle of their morning nap when I realized I needed to use the computer. I tiptoed up the stairs and quietly sat down at the desk in our living room. I softly tapped the keys and finished my task in record time. As I was standing up to head downstairs, I heard her.
Sweet Sloaney was awake.
It'd only been 45 minutes and their morning nap typically lasts several hours. I peeked in the nursery and there she was, sitting up and looking right at me. I turned on the sleep sheep and backed out of the room. She immediately started whimpering. I knew if I let her cry she'd wake Jude so I did something I'm not sure I've ever done before.
I walked to her crib, picked her up, and carried her to the rocker. She was so warm and had a little red spot on her forehead where she'd been sleeping. She had tired eyes and a soft smile. I used my finger to draw her face. Her jawbone, her cheeks, her perfect nose, her tiny lips. I kissed the top of her head and inhaled deeply. And then I took the blanket I've used countless times in the middle of the night and wrapped it tightly around us.
I let her fall asleep in my arms. I was supposed to go to the post office and drop off several packages. I desperately needed to clean the house since my parents would be visiting in a few days. I'd just made a batch of pumpkin muffins and the remaining batter was sitting on the counter. But all I heard in my head, over and over again, was this: "Babies don't keep. Babies don't keep." And so I stayed with her.
I looked down at my beautiful girl and watched her dark eyelashes flutter and then become so still. Her hand slowly lost its grip on my finger and I felt her entire body relax in my arms. At that moment, I realized she felt safe and secure and loved.
And for 30 minutes of an otherwise ordinary day, I felt safe... and secure... and loved.