Glimpses of Heaven

December 1, 2010

There are moments, like the other night, where I feel like I’ve been granted a glimpse into heaven. I hear the startled cry of Bella, who was asleep but has suddenly woken up. It’s a different cry, the kind where you instinctively know as a mother that your child is afraid.

In an instant, I’m in her room as she stands sobbing in her crib, paci in hand. I pick her up with a, “Lovey, what is it?” and she wraps her arms around me.

Not usually a very cuddly child, because she’s so busy being, well, busy, I treasure the moment. She is still upset, so I head to our rocker and curl up in it as her head lays against my shoulder.

As we sit, I softly sing to her “You are my sunshine” just like my mom sang to me. I start to reflect on the year past, how she used to fit completely in my arms and now her legs hang over them. How she would nuzzle my shoulder to nurse, and now can hold her own sippy cup. How peekaboo meant my face was gone forever to her, and now she finds me easily at hide and seek.

The days I thought would never end? They did. And in many ways, I have regrets over the past year. Probably like any mother. I wish I had really lived in the moment with her baby-ness. That I had never taken for granted her complete need for me at that time. That I had slowed down a little and soaked in every minute of being a new mother, and realized just what that meant.

But I can’t dwell on that, because in those moments, I did the best I could. And I learned from them. As we sit and rock together, I cherish her toddlerhood. I stop a lot more these days and simply enjoy her. I study her as she plays. I play with her. Long days indoors with cold weather are a reason to slow down and be a mama. She watches my every move, so I chatter away while cooking or cleaning so she feels like she is part of the process. She is my little shadow, a tiny me that I’ve come to love in a way I never even knew existed.

There are days I snap, times I grow frustrated with the squealing for things I can’t figure out, or the half hour naps that end right as I get in the shower. There are evenings as we get ready for bath that I remind myself, “Half hour to go.” Mornings where I pray for one more hour of sleep.

But in this moment with the darkness, the rainfall on her white noise, the perfect baby hand in mine and the soft sigh of contentment that she makes, nothing else matters. Regrets, tiredness, frustration, and failures all fade away. For this instant, we both have a brief glimpse of heaven.

23 Comments

  • Ren M

    December 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you for posting this :0>

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      I was just thinking about you the other day. With so many blogs out there I wondered if mine had just gotten lost in the pond, but I’m glad you’re still here. 🙂

      1. Ren M

        December 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

        nope i come by for a visit at least every other day! Simultaneously Mackenna started crawling and boycotting naps so not much time to comment :>

        You always inspire me to be the best i can, even if it doesn’t feel like i have it in me or want to!

  • Becky

    December 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Well said and thanks for being my new follower! I too sing “You are my Sunshine” to my girls. I have sung it to each of them every day of their lives. I love that as soon as I begin singing it, I see their little eyes roll because it’s bed time. I hope that some day they rock their own babies and sing it just as you do. You can’t feel guilty about the blow-up moments as long as you make up for them in quiet ones. I have soaked in each of my babies. And I still do. My 5 and 2 year old love being held like a baby in a chair as i rock them gently, stroke their hair and say to them “you are my beautiful baby”.

  • Siva

    December 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I always think about how much I’ve missed. I try not to dwell on it, and to treasure the special moments, but I think it’s natural for every parent to feel a bit of guilt.

    Maybe it makes us better parents when we feel guilty and then change because of it.

  • Krista

    December 2, 2010 at 8:12 am

    So sweet, so well written, so making me cry right now. I think we all feel like we missed so much of their infancy. We were so busy trying to figure it out, that now it’s just gone and we’re left to wonder what all the stress was about. I still need to remind myself to slow down, to not wish away too many nights waiting for her bedtime. But when you talk about it like you just did, it makes me realize that.

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

      Sometimes it’s so hard to not will the end of the day here as fast as possible. But I catch myself and think, “Is she wanting that too? Or is she just loving being with me right now?”

      Then I realize there probably are times I lay her down and she thinks, “Oh good, some alone time.” 🙂

  • Jen

    December 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    So beautifully written. I love your stories. And this is such a great reminder to live in the now. Kind of hard with 2 fussy toddlers, but I love hearing them laugh when I tickle them, and reading the same story every night together because they both have it memorized. The temper tantrums don’t last forever, but the beautiful baby moments will give me a lifetime of contentment.

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

      I hope I’m as patient with 2 as I know you are. You are my inspiration for motherhood – everytime I think of Sam being gone I think about how you’ve done it for 3 years with 2 kids.

  • Desi

    December 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve had a lot of moments where I wish I would have cherished them a little more. Its hard to cherish them in that moment but later I’ll find myself thinking about them again. I’ve realized what an impatient person I am 🙂

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

      I am too – I’m always thinking of the next thing. I’ve been trying to be in the moment more, because things pass so quickly at this age.

  • cathy

    December 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    so sweet! I love it!! you’re such a good mom!

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Aw. That means a lot since you’ve seen me with her. And you’ve also seen Amber in action. lol

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  • Cindy @ This Adventure, Our Life

    December 1, 2010 at 10:04 am

    So very true, we worry about so many things, we stress about things, and while doing that we miss so many moments. I have few regrets with Bailey and everyday when I wake up every morning I remind myself to be present, be present with myself, with her, and my life. There are times it is soo hard though, I think these are my favorite moments also. I rock Bailey to sleep every night and I love to feel her snuggle, hear her breath, and remember how and where she has come from. Loved this post, well written 🙂

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Cindy. I think it’s special that you remind yourself of that, what a way to start each day with her.

  • themanager

    December 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

    beautiful! and so very true!

    the only time i get a cuddle is when i am holding him in my arms just before i lay him in the crib. i rest my head on him and try to shut out everything else but that moment. i know soon enough, he won’t need that anymore. i always try to remind myself that these moments need to be cherished.

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

      I do that too – I try to breathe in her scent and just be for a few minutes – or seconds depending on her. 🙂

  • Alexia

    December 1, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Totally tearing up over here. I had the same kind of revelation a couple weeks ago when rocking Ella to sleep. It’s easy to just ‘get by’ during the first year. To just let those moments pass without recognizing and appreciating them, probably because we’re just so damn tired (or busy or trying to clean the house). But those are little heavenly moments in the dark. When we can still hold and cuddle and squeeze them. When they’re still our babies. Beautiful post Diana!

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Thanks. 🙂 I feel the same – like life overtook me being a mom in so many ways. I’m just thankful that I’ve realized it now and can slow down.

  • Jen

    December 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    So true, and for sure something to remember for us all. Being a mom is hard, you still need you time, and sometimes that doesn’t come when you want or sometimes need it too. At times its hard to remember to cherish the moments, even when they aren’t fun. Thanks for the reminder!!! 🙂

    1. Diana

      December 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

      It feels like this past year was like a trial run for the rest of her life.

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    December 1, 2010 at 8:09 am

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