Let me tell you about last night.
You’re five and a half now. The half is important to you I think. And you sleep with my shirt. It was my favorite shirt. It smells a LOT like me because it hasn’t been washed in some time. But when I started traveling for work this fall you co-opted that shirt. It’s blue and has Mickey Mouse ears on the front of it. I think I got it at Target.
You sleep with that shirt every night now. It has a very interesting collection of smells.
Sometimes you wander through in the mornings with bedhead and you’re actually wearing my shirt over your pajamas. Sometimes at night when I lean over you to catch a wisp of your baby breath while you’re sleeping the shirt is all tangled up in your legs. Sometimes it lies next to you on the pillow like it’s me, watching over you.
Baby girl, last night I came in to tuck you in bed after home group and I think I was more tired than you were. I lay down next to you and then I couldn’t get up to turn off the light. So you climbed out the side of your bed and turned out the lamp and crawled back in next to me and softly kissed me good night on my forehead. Then you petted my cheek. Then you curled into the blankets next to me and tucked your tiny arms and legs up into me like a kitten. We lay there side by side under your glo-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and you described all the animal shapes you could see in them.
I kept my eyes closed as you talked. Your soft voice whispering over me. Zoe, I’m so glad God gave me a daughter I told you. And you whispered back, I’m so glad you’re my mom. Then I felt your soft baby lips on mine as you kissed me again. And we lay side by side and even though my eyes were closed I could feel you watching me. Then you turned over, as you always do, because you like to sleep on your right side. You turned over but one tiny hand crept back behind your back so you could stroke my arm. The way you did when you were a baby. The way you did every day of that first year of your beautiful life.
Over and over again your tiny palm would stroke my arm, my elbow, as you fell asleep. Comforting us both.
We lay tucked in together on your pink princess bed beneath the neon stars stuck to your ceiling and it was the most home kind of feeling there is. My daughter, you are at home in me and I in you and even when you turn thirteen I’ll always have tonight. I pray we’ll always be as close as a tuck in but maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll push against each other.
So I’m writing tonight down. I’m writing it down so we can both remember the night you tucked your feet in between mine and petted my arm and told me you were so glad I was your mom.
Because I’m so glad you’re my daughter.