I just had one of those moments.
One of those moments when I finish nursing Caitlyn, and I ask her if she wants a cuddle, and she rests her soft, nine-month-old cheek on my shoulder and gazes up at me, contentedly drooling a little on my shirt.
She carefully fingers my silver hoop earring and runs clumsy, curious fingers through the wisps of hair falling out of my ponytail.
She reaches higher and finds my cheek, working her way up to my eyebrow and is so surprised by how it feels that she starts a low chuckle that escalates into a giggle. Her one visible cheek dimples and her eyes sparkle with the joy of discovery.
Her laugh makes me laugh and now we’re grinning at each other as she strokes my eyebrow and relaxes into my shoulder. I rock her slowly, wishing I could bottle this moment up.
I marvel at how I never considered myself a “baby person”, and had little desire to hold or fawn over other people’s children… until my own niece and nephew were born prematurely 5 1/2 years ago. Something switched on inside of me. When I came for a visit, I took a few night shifts and let my sister-in-law sleep as I clumsily offered bottles, taped up diapers, and rewrapped babies in the wee hours. Through those small acts of sacrifice, those babies became precious to me.
I should have guessed, then, that having my own babies would change me to the core, but I think that’s something I am still learning.
How is that a simple moment like discovering an eyebrow while cuddling leaves me completely fulfilled?
Motherhood is generally considered an unpaid profession, but I could make a convincing argument that the wages are priceless.
On a side note, another thing I was clueless about 5 1/2 years ago was how important it would be that Scott adores children. I was oblivious at the time, but I’ve seen pictures with my nephew that confirm that he’s always been a sucker (though admittedly not always so amiable about spit up).