In the evening, I am weary. I watch Bella start to rub her eyes and I stifle back a yawn as I glance at the clock.
Dinner, bathie, and story. All of which I try so hard to be “in the moment” and attentive for. Her little eyes watch me to see if I’m watching her. Pouring water, splashing, running around the house with her little naked buns, and screaming with laughter as I growl and go to catch her.
We snuggle in for a book once she is clean. I inhale the smell of her slight baby-ness still, so faint and almost gone. She picks a book, maybe two. Halfway through she decides she’ll read it to me instead. Her babbles make me smile.
I scoop her up in my arms with kisses and place her in bed. As she looks up at me, paci in her mouth and puppy on the side of her cheek to rub, I reflect on our day. Sometimes it was hard, lots of tears and frustrations took place. Sometimes it was beautiful, and I feel a sense of pride in having a day I did my very best and it worked.
I am tired. The crib presses into my chest as I lean over towards her and know that in a few short minutes, I will have the night to myself. Her eyes droop and then snap open as she feels me put my hand on her head.
As we do almost every night, I begin to pray. A simple prayer, I thank God for our day and ask Him to watch over Daddy, our families, and friends. I stay in the moment, everything else but her soft breathing and my words fades away.
I pray that tomorrow, I will do my best. Be patient and kind. Be loving and cherish the moments I am given with her. That I will lay my worries and fears about our upcoming months at His feet and do my best to trust and have faith.
When I am done, Bella is gazing up at me. I whisper to her that I love her, send a kiss down with my fingertips to her forehead. She turns onto her stomach and falls asleep.
As I leave, I know whatever happened that day is done. A new start. The power of prayer, of a quiet moment of reflection with your child, whatever it is that you believe in – if you use it to end your day it washes everything else away.
For just a moment, time stands still and you both are simply there. Together. Remembering the love that is between you and not the mistakes of today. The power of prayer – is that it changes everything.