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 journey of a young wife and mom; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she's not writing, Casey is likely to be yelling COME DOWN FROM THERE! or DON'T LICK YOUR BROTHER!, and procrastinating on the housework.  To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward