There are nights you fight sleep with every ounce of your being. 

You writhe in my arms. Pull away from hushed lullabies murmured in your ear. Cry out in righteously indignant protest. 

I hold you still. 

Your world is expanding—exponentially, it seems—and sleep is so often a nuisance in your quest to see and do and experience it all. The world is wide, and the hours are short. There’s just so much to do. 

I hold you still. 

It’s a delicate dance we do these nights, one we’ll do for many nights to come. I try coaxing sleep from your obviously-tired body; you resist. You try convincing me you don’t need to go to bed just yet; I persist. 

I hold you still. 

As I rock with your toddler-sized frame heavy against my chest, I breathe you in, trying to sear this feeling into my heart. You’re growing at breakneck speed, testing boundaries, pushing limits. You’re already past the baby stage, not quite yet to the little girl stage, suspended in the shift of childhood for just a moment. 

I hold you still. 

One day, I’ll look back on nights like this and be transported right back to these throes of motherhood. I’ll miss them, I know, because I was created for them. These long nights, these frustrating hours, these feelings of wonder mixed with waiting—they are a calling, whispered by our Maker, into my ear long before you were here, filling my arms. 

Before long, these moments will be only memories, a few lines in the story we’re writing together, one of hopes and dreams and love. 

And I’ll hold them in my heart, just as I hold you now, still. 

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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom