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News from the Nest: Treasure the special moments -- before it's too late

The other night, my little girl just wanted to be held.

We kept rocking her, cuddling her and just when we thought it was safe to lay her in her crib, she would wake up and cry for us again. This isn't her typical behavior, so it was easy to make an exception - just this once.

As I lay on the couch with my little 22-month-old daughter on my chest, I had a rush of emotions go through me. First, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to get done after the kids were in bed and before I ran out of energy. I had laundry I needed to get washed, dishes to put away and sit-ups to do (yuck). But then she wiggled her little bum up in the air, arms tucked under her belly, head snuggled into my neck and, suddenly, my "to do" list vanished.

I started to thank God for bringing me this precious little person, whom someday will be too big to fit on my chest and too cool to want to cuddle with Mommy. I remembered the sleepless nights when she was a baby and all she would do was cry, and how then I had wished so badly those nights would finally be over. Now, I realized I didn't want to wish away nights like these, too.

I thought about her playing sports in high school, dating a boy, going to prom, graduating, talking about careers... "Oh no" I thought to myself, "She really IS going to grow up some day." My heart sank, so wanting this moment to never end, wanting her to always be this little, this dependent, and this innocent.

May we never wish away moments with our children, whether they are spent crying, laughing, or just sleeping.

(Lauritsen from West Fargo enjoys writing, in particular, sharing her insight into parenting issues that present themselves daily in the upbringing and nurturing of her two small children.)