It was one of those days. Josh was gone. I had a to-do list that was lengthy.
After her afternoon nap, I simply managed her. Supervised her. Took a walk in the neighborhood with her and the dog. Threw food her way for dinner. But I didn't spent much time actually with her, engaging her or snuggling her or enjoying her company.
And then it was bedtime. I put her in her crib with her favorite security objects, said some prayers, and left the room. Per usual.
But it didn't feel right. I knew I wasn't the parent to her today that I could have been. My agenda for the afternoon and evening had been entirely me focused.
And then I heard her crying.
We're pretty strict about bed times around here. Once we put Caroline to bed, in bed she stays. She's comfortable and safe and secure in there, and it never takes her too long to drift off to sleep.
But there's a time for being strict and there's a time for making things right.
I felt that sacred little nudge, and this time didn't ignore it.
I pulled her out of bed and onto my lap. She grinned at me, all toothy. Then she proceeded to point out where my eyes, teeth, ears, and nose are located on my face. She looked through a picture book with her brows furrowed and eyes taking in each detail. We shared hugs and kisses. She was in no hurry to crawl off of my lap. I told her how much I treasured her and how much of a gift from God she is. I told her about the new baby and how I would need her help. And I told her I was sorry for today.
She responded with more hugs and kisses.
I looked into her eyes and saw pure baby love reflected back at me.
I always knew I'd love my baby, but didn't realize the true joy I would feel to have my baby love me back. Our fifteen minutes of quiet, intentional time together tonight was among my top moments with my girl. I know it won't always be so easy to mend what's broken between us, but I'm so grateful that for now she's entirely willing to lavish love and affection on this tired, ungrateful Mama.
May I always be willing to lavish that love and affection back onto her.
Thank you, Jesus, for another chance tonight.