Today, I dragged my 10 month pregnant self out into the sunshine with my 22 month old daughter and pushed her in the swing. I ignored the pains in my back and hips as I pulled myself off the picnic blanket to help her onto the trampoline and again 5 minutes later to help her down. I let the sun warm my already overheated body as I gulped down ice water and cheered for my daughter who went down the slide head first. I maneuvered my oversized self back inside to quickly retrieve ‘snuggle bear’ and again when she needed juice.
Today I awkwardly leaned my pregnant belly over the side of the bathtub and retrieved toys that had floated too far away while Evelyn played. I encouraged her to “Swim. Swim. Swim.” And didn’t protest when she wanted to splash. I did,however, discourage her from drinking the bath water.
Today I helped my almost two year old decorate her ‘rocket ship’ with Hello Kitty stickers. I sat on the floor in her bedroom, periodically changing positions to keep from getting too sore and pried her chosen sticker from the sheet. I held her hand as she climbed in and out and back in again. I spent 5 minutes trying to stand up when she wanted to go into the living room while she ran back and forth waiting for me to follow.
Today, I cradled my toddler in the rocking chair while she clutched her “bee” and her juice after she requested, “Rock you?” I watched her eyes droop and pop back open, fighting off sleep. I snuggled my little angel on my chest, her body bent around my large pregnant belly and replied, “Hi baby,” to her sleepy, “Hi Mom.” I relished in every second that she let me hold her, remembering when I used to nurse her to sleep in this very chair. Before she let sleep overcome her, I laid her in her big girl bed and sang to her while I watched her eyes finally close and her body relax.
Today I am still pregnant at 40 weeks and 4 days, but I don’t mind. Because today I let my daughter be an only child for one more day. And today that’s exactly what we both needed.