It’s not often Peeper falls asleep on me. I usually put her down when she’s still awake, babbling to herself or reciting entire sections of Once Upon A Potty.
But the other day, she dozed off while I hummed You Are My Sunshine, part of our normal going-to-bed-routine.
And here’s the thing: I didn’t put her down.
As a work-at-home mama without consistent, out-of-the-home childcare, I end up cramming work into spare corners of the day. If I wake up a little early, I check my email from bed to see if a source has written me back. I turn in copy at times most other people are asleep. And most of all I work during Peeper’s naps, scheduling interviews and meeting deadlines in that somewhat-reliable hour-and-a-half break.
While in Mexico, I still had deadlines to meet, articles to write and pitches to investigate. But on this afternoon, I let that work idle.
I felt my toddler’s breath as regular as the surf outside. I admired her curls that seem to go even curlier during naps. And as she sprawled on me belly-to-belly, I felt her twitch in her dreams even as a tiny life inside me turned and kicked.
Lulled by the overhead fan and the warmth of her slumbering body, I began to doze off. I set Peeper down in her crib and crawled into bed for a snooze, too. I fell asleep before too long—another luxury I rarely enjoy at home, when writing, dirty dishes and my growling stomach demand I get up and go.
Peeper often napped on me when she was a baby—sometimes that’s the only way she’d sleep. I’m grateful she’s comfortable drifting off on her own now. But I savor the rare occasions I get to witness her exuberant self completely surrender to sleep.
It won’t be long until there’s a newborn who needs my attention even more than editors. Kiwi will surely take her share of naps on my chest, but as Peeper grows, she’ll sleep on me less and less.
I find myself wondering how our lives will change once Kiwi arrives. That unknown—and the adjustments we’ll all have to make, both major and minor—reminds me to adjust my priorities on days like this one. I can’t always sit immobile with a toddler sleeping on my chest, but every so often, I will. I won’t mind the drool-damp spot on my shirt or my arm that fell asleep. Inconveniences are worth the chance at a front-row seat to my daughter’s dreams.