Almost every single night for the last six years my daughter has fallen asleep on my shoulder while twirling my hair.

I can literally count the number of times on my hands that she didn’t—the couple of times she slept over at her grandma’s house and the few nights I went away without her, but other than that, almost every single night of her life she has been with me.

Some people say that is too much.

That I shouldn’t let her be that dependent on me.

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But what I don’t tell them is this is just a part of us.

She is my second daughter, my last baby.

This has just become who we are, and we both don’t know any other way.

Of course, there are some nights I resent it.

She is old enough to go to sleep on her own, I say.

I want to be able to go out at night once in a while and not worry about her waiting up for me when I get home, I say.

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Some nights she is difficult to get to fall asleep, and I sigh heavily and wish she would just fall asleep quicker so I could go relax on my own.

But then . . . 

There are other nights I just soak her all in.

I feel her warm, little body curled up next to mine, and I smell her hair and wonder how long will this last.

And I thank God for this sweet little girl.

And I cherish that she is still small enough to fall asleep on my shoulder.

That she still wants me near.

That we have this familiar routine that is just ours.

I think of all the different stages—her being a newborn, her being a toddler, and now her being a little girl, and I think of how this one routine has stayed the same for us.

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And I love that this is a part of us, a part of our story.

I know she is not going to be lying on my shoulder forever.

I know one day she will be too big to fit in my arms and fall asleep.

And for now, I am going to cherish it.

I am going to let her fall asleep on me, for I know one day soon it will just be our cherished memory.

Precious memories of the many years that my sweet girl laid her head on my shoulder and fell asleep in my arms surrounded by my love and comfort.

Jennifer Toscano

I am a wife, mother to two beautiful daughters and a follower of Jesus. I recently started my blog as a way to document my journey in faith and to share God's great love with others. I also love to cook, read and do graphic design. You can find me on Facebook: facebook.com/aheartfullofhope and on my website: AHeartFullofHope.com writing about faith, hope and motherhood.