When I settle down in my favorite chair in the living room, one of my little people inevitably climbs onto my lap. My sitting seems to send out a beacon of some sort; it calls to them. Sometimes when one sees the other in the coveted spot, she’ll attempt to pile on as well—a feat that usually ends with squeals, or someone getting kicked in the face, or both.
I hear myself saying, “My lap isn’t big enough for both of you!” and I’m hit with a pang of grief for days past. When they were babies, I avoided thinking much about them someday getting too big for this—when the thought did surface, I pushed it away. Savor the moment.
When the younger one has the lap to herself, she instinctively draws herself up into a ball, pressed against my chest and my stomach—and I remember what it felt like to have her on the inside, curled into that same position. Those days are so distant and foggy, I wonder if I dreamed them. But no, they were definitely real. My body bears all the scars, visible and not, of twice being stretched and cut and changed.
Every once in a while, less and less frequently these days, she will fall asleep there on my lap. I know sleep has claimed her because her breathing has changed, deeper and more rhythmic.
She’s a little toaster—Dan’s words—when she sleeps. Her bangs are sweaty and stuck to her forehead. I, too, get uncomfortably warm beneath her.
But I will stay as long as she does.
You’ve found me in the midst of a month-long mission to document and give thanks for the everyday, mundane, and beautiful.