They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, which I can assure you as someone who is married to a chef, is complete bullshit. Distance makes the heart grow resentful, is what it does.
But I think maybe whoever it was that coined that phrase wasn’t talking about their significant other, but rather, a child. Because as the mom of a toddler, I now understand what it feels like to spend an entire day begging your child to fall asleep, and an entire night wishing they would wake so you can hold them again.
Ok – maybe that’s a slight exaggeration – but the missing them while they sleep thing is real.
A couple of weeks ago we moved Mia out of her crib and into a twin bed. The best part about the move (besides not having to buy another crib for the new baby) is that now we can cuddle in bed with her while we read books at bedtime.
The other night as I was putting her to bed, it hit me that these days are numbered. The days of Mia snuggling into my arms and asking for “one more book, mommy, don’t leave!” Her hair is tousled and hanging loosely onto a tiny purple elastic – her sun kissed highlights cascading over long, thick black eyelashes that make it impossible to say no.
Some day a boy (or girl) is going to fall for those eyelashes, and Dan and I will have to hold each other back from hovering over her, wanting to protect her from the inevitable crash after every exhilarating wave.
The days of her willingly giving us kisses, reaching for my hand in a parking lot, asking me to “watch this, mommy” as she tumbles around on her trampoline – those days are painfully numbered.
One day she won’t fit in our bed. She won’t ask for “Tiger Daniel” in the morning or another book at night. She won’t want us in her room at all.
One day she’ll love someone else most in the world. And while my heart will ache, I will reach for the hand of my greatest love, and take solace in the fact that this is the way of things.
I will always love her more. Because that’s what mothers do.