Every night before bed, I bring my daughter into my bedroom and she sits on my lap in front of my vanity table. Our reflections smile at us with identical eyes in the mirror. I gently brush her hair while we talk about our day together. I feel the weight of her constantly, but especially on these nights, when I am so tired at the end of my long days. Her body is heavy on mine as I sit on the chair. I wonder if this is how my mom used to feel when she brushed my hair at her vanity table. Worn out. Weighed down.
I want to be with my daughter daily. I want to witness every smile and every laugh. New words pour out of her mouth and I do not want to miss even one. She is my light and my heart, but I admit that her demands weigh on me. I feel them pulling me down.
She climbs on me constantly, clambering to ascend my limbs like a tree. Her little hands grasp onto my clothing, pulling me into the other room. She tells me what she wants constantly, her toddler mind unaware of my own desires.
It starts in the morning from her crib when I hear her toddler voice yelling out: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” until I go to her. She is two, so she cannot decide what she wants. She asks me to make oatmeal for breakfast, and then she demands eggs. She has tantrums over the eggs and I can feel my patience wearing thin. It takes every ounce of control that I have to keep my voice calm as I throw her uneaten breakfast in the trash and watch her eat dry cheerios one at a time.
Her presence pulls me down to the floor and that is typically where we sit. I like to be on her level so I can see the world from her viewpoint. I feel grounded when we are huddled together over a puzzle or toys. She is like a magnet pulling me down. Her weight, again. It is a constant in my life.
Sometimes I think about what I want to do: travel, write, work. But how can I do these things when my mind is always on my daughter? Her needs weigh me down and I find myself longingly staring at my computer without the energy to write night after night. Even though she is two, I seem to always be carrying her in and out of the car, crib and stroller. I feel her little legs wrapped around me and her arms around my neck multiple times a day. She feels heavy on my body, but it feels like home. There is a comfort in having so much of her, right now.
I remind myself that it’s not forever, the way that she climbs on me, calls for me and grabs for me.
I remind myself that this too shall pass – the way that she demands all of me, constantly.
And I am certain, that when it does, I will miss the weight of her.