I hear her squeaking and crying in the hour of too-early-for-Mommy-o'clock. I quick tiptoe on our cold and creaky floors, gather her up, and plop us into my bed, hoping to avoid waking her sister. I am relieved to be in bed together, one because this child is a breakfast-right-when-she-wakes-up kind of girl, and two because I love my bed. Perhaps unhealthily so.
My baby curls up against me, even though her long legs and thinning chubbiness give away her toddlerhood, she is still baby to me. Her head rests on my shoulder and I bury my nose into her crazy mess of curls to find hints of sweet apple from her bath the night before. Her breathing is morning heavy and periodically interrupted by a sucksuck on her pacifier.
Calm gives way to running thoughts, because that's what happens when my mind gets a chance to wake up. Thoughts of birthdays later in the week, cleaning that hasn't been done in way too long, running I'd like to squeeze in. Little thoughts. Big thoughts. Anxious thoughts. A lot of anxious thoughts.
Most times I can't, but this morning I stop them, focus on my breathing and her breathing. I shut them all out and snuggle into her, my big lady body folding into her little baby one. And we are together, relaxing again in the stillness of morning, and I am happy. I am peaceful. My mommyheart swells with joy at the quiet love.