Every few months, Abbie changes up her bedtime routine, just slightly. We’ve got a pretty set routine in place, so her changes are usually small and we just roll with them. A different stuffed animal, a different bath toy, doing some of the routine independently.
A few weeks ago, she added something simple. For the past few weeks, she’s said goodnight to Chris, closed the door on her own, and climbed up into my lap on the rocker – the very same rocker I rocked her in as a baby. I can’t help but think how different it is now.
As a baby, I rocked Abbie to sleep after nursing or a bottle, then laid her down. As a baby, I calmed her in that chair. As a toddler, she’d attempt to climb up there and always need my help.
So, so much is different, but so much is the same too. In those quiet moments, I think about all the dreams I have for Abbie. I think about how I want her to be strong, smart, funny, and confident. I think about all the good qualities I want her to inherit. I think of the grace I want her to have in handling her mistakes. I think about the bond we already have, and how I’m going to work like hell to keep that bond strong.
And there’s where the other difference is: instead of just thinking those things… I’m now saying them. I’m telling Abbie how smart and kind she is. I’m telling her how much she’s loved and how much I love being her mommy. I snuggle with her while she lets me, because for Abbie’s independent nature, those moments are few and far between. I tell her about her aunts and uncles, about her grandparents and great-grandparents. I tell her everything and anything, because I know she’s absorbing it all. She’s starting to really create memories now, and I want her to remember all those things.
In those quiet moments, I want her to know who she is, where she comes from, and that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Those quiet moments are the best part of my day.