Harper is the best hugger.
She wraps her little arms around your neck, squeezes just right, and sighs. If you’re holding her, she’ll get her legs in on the action too. There’s no awkwardness or self-consciousness in her hugs. They’re confident, sure, and encompassing.
Sometime in the past year as I transitioned from maybe-one-more-baby to we’re-done-having-babies, I started telling Harper she was my last baby. Asking her if I could snuggle with her on the couch because she’s my last baby. Trying to rock her because she’s my last baby.
And now, at almost three, she has figured out how to use this to her advantage.
Can I have my paci just a little longer, Mama? I’m your last baby.
Can you hold me, Mommy? I’m your last baby.
It makes me laugh to hear her say those words, to not really know the scope of what it means, but knowing that it makes Mama feel something. Makes me react in a way that brings a smile to my face and, more often than not, results in her getting her way.
I wanted to write these things down, not so much because I have some amazing story or lesson to share, but because one day I will forget. I could feel it slipping away as I lay in bed with her tonight. As I write this, I’m still on Christmas break and we’re snowed in and I didn’t want to be stuck in bed with her while she rolled around and hit me in the face with stuffed animals. But I didn’t have anywhere else to be and couldn’t, without lots of mom-guilt, talk myself into leaving.
So I laid there with her, pretending to sleep as she played with my hair and kept hugging my arm. Just loving on me. And I knew there would come a time when she would be older and I would be older and this moment would be forgotten.
And it made my chest seize up to think that I would not have this moment forever. That I might not be able to recall the way her hair smelled and the sound she made with her mouth as she sucked on her paci and the feel of her neck as I nuzzled my nose into it.
She is my last baby.