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Sometimes, I take you for granted. 

I take for granted this time that we share; this time while you’re just the right size to fit in my lap and have just enough patience to let me kiss your cheeks a hundred times. 

This time when you can be so difficult, so stubbornly independent, so defiant in your exploration of life. 

Sometimes I take it all for granted. 

But other times, like tonight, when I stand at the doorway to your room watching you sleep, all I can think is: 

What I wouldn’t give for you to stay this little, where I can cradle both of your hands in one of mine. 

What I wouldn’t do to ensure that you never shed a tear over anything more than an unshared toy. 

What I wouldn’t give to protect you from those knots that will form in the pit of your stomach as “life happens.”

What I wouldn’t do to make it so that the shadows in the corners of your bedroom at night were the only thing you ever had to be frightened of. 

What I wouldn’t give to keep your heartbeat constant and steady. To ensure that your heart remained whole; never missing a beat and never shattering. 

What I wouldn’t do to listen to your tiny breaths in perfect rhythmic synchrony with the steady rise and fall of your chest. 

What I wouldn’t give to bottle up your laugh, carrying it with me always and cracking the cork anytime my heart needed to soar. 

What I wouldn’t do to always feel the heavy weighted warmth of your cheek pressed up against my chest as you drift off to sleep. 

What I wouldn’t give to keep all of your secrets locked away in my heart where no one could ever steal them. 

What I wouldn’t do to replay the flutter of your eyelids and the curl of your smile as you dream peacefully, forever. 

Little One, what I wouldn’t do to freeze these moments and memorize every second. What I wouldn’t give to make them last just a little while longer.

This article originally appeared on Etched in Home with Casey Huff

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward

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