That being said, another mile of my daughter's babyness has been crossed... she is sleeping in a twin bed. Around 11:00 on the last night in her crib I crept into her room, picked up my sleepy baby girl in her footy pajamas and we rocked in the moon light one last time. I am excited for all the big girl things coming our way, but I will miss - to my very core - the honor of rocking my child, her breath on my neck, back to sleep in the closest thing I can name to Heavenly Peace.
I memorized her nursery for the last time, knowing tomorrow it would be a big girl room. I closed my eyes to close that out and rested my head on hers to remember. Breathing in her lavender scent I remembered how it felt to rock her in the beginning. In that moment I was grateful for every day, every sleepless hour, I nursed her. I remembered the first morning I went in to pick her up and she was standing up by herself and waving at me. I remembered the sound of her playing alone in her crib, safe and content, as she started waking up without a 5 alarm demand to eat. I cherished the times she tried out her new voice by calling out to us in the morning, "Mama? Maaaamaaaa? ...Dada? DADA!" We rocked for a long time that night. We rocked past the anguish of the day our doctor tested her tiny body for leukemia. We rocked through her healing; rocked past the last first crawl, the last first steps. We rocked through her babyness.
When I returned my last baby to her crib for the last time, yes, my heart ached. Yes, I momentarily wavered in the unchangeable decision to be done having babies. Yes I cried. But did I regret it? Not for an instant. There was a day not too long ago that I fell on my knees and begged God to grow her up! A time that I counted her calories, and prayed her out of "Failure to Thrive." God has blessed us beyond measure! I was sad it was the final last time, but I am so grateful to see her grow.
The Bible says, The Lord your God is with you. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephania 3:17) I knew as I whispered Brahms in the dark to my baby girl that I would sing it to her the next day when she was a big girl, and again in the next chapter when she needs it. I will sing it over her all her life, as the Lord sings over us. May I be blessed enough to one day sing it over my children's children.
I'm so grateful there's no such thing as the last time for lullabies.