Night before last I was rocking Lucy to sleep (as I do most nights) and Kyle looked at us, Lucy's head on my shoulder and her feet hanging down past the seat of the recliner, and he held his hands far apart and said, "When she's this big, it is time to not rock her anymore." And I laughed with him at first. Then the mommy in me started thinking. She turned 3 years old in January. I have rocked her to sleep for the past 3 years without thinking about it really. Some nights I get frustrated with her when she refuses to go to sleep, and some nights I sit and stare at how beautifully perfect she truly is. Routine sometimes makes us take things for granted. Soon my daughter will not want me to hold her while she sleeps. Soon I will no longer to be able to physically do it, without some effort anyway. I've been told countless times that "They don't stay little long." And although I know that to be true, I never realized how quickly it truly flies by. Some expert, by-the-book mothers would say I should have stopped rocking her 2 or even 3 years ago, but I will hold my 3 year old extra tight tonight while I rock her to sleep, before laying her in mine and my husband's bed to sleep with us for the night. I will try not to take a second with her for granted. When she lays there and talks and talks and talks (as some know our Lucy is really good at doing), I will listen and I will let her tell me all of the wild things her imagination comes up with, I will give her that extra cup of milk, I will let her go to use the bathroom 2-3 times and I will let her know that her daddy and I adore her every move. I'm far from a perfect mother, I get frustrated daily and I may raise my voice a little more than I'd like to admit, but my child is one thing I have gotten right in this life, and she is the most joyful person I know. I'll be the first to admit I've made A LOT of mistakes in my day, but she wasn't one of them. She is my own personal proof from God that we all deserve something beautiful, no matter what. I can't wait to add this next little one to our family.
- Stephanie Andrews Atchison