Late this afternoon, I decided I would lay down for a while, read some in Churched, by Matthew Paul Turner, which I've been flying through this week, and take a short nap. Around the time I lay down, though, Kate woke up and it was about time for her next feeding, so I brought her to bed with me. After she ate, I laid her on my chest and she fell asleep while I read.
Soon, our cat Charlotte jumped up on the bed, and though she's been somewhat distant since we brought "baby sister" home, she curled up on my legs and went to sleep. I wanted a picture of me with my two little ones, so I called out to Matt, who was working on his computer in the family room. He didn't answer, and I concluded he must have fallen asleep on the couch. I had my phone next to me, since my mom had called while I was feeding Kate, so I called Matt's phone, which was surely sitting on the coffee table next to him. I heard my signature ring tone echo from the other room, but he didn't answer. I left a voice mail. "Hey sweetie, wake up and bring the camera into the bedroom!"
My high tech "honey do" didn't work, but a half hour later or so, I heard him stir and called out again. He brought the camera, as requested, and after snapping a couple pics, he laid down and went to sleep as well.
Surrounded my my three loves, all dozing peacefully, my first impulse was to take a picture. The camera, however, was across the room on the dresser. I had to fight the impulse to record every special moment, recording it instead in my mind, basking in the great love of that moment. There on that queen size bed rested my loving husband, snoring softly, my beloved kittycat, stretching out her front paw, and my darling daughter, her head nestled warm against my chest. I put the book down and sat silently, watching the chests of my little ones rise and fall. (Ever since my rabbit in college died in the night, I monitor Charlotte's breath--and now that of my child, as many moms do--with great caution.) I memorized the tiniest details of Kate's face, resting inches from my own--her long eyelashes, the infant acne on her nose, the fine, barely noticeable hair on her forehead, the delicate shade of pink inside her ear.
This Valentine's Day, my joy was not in a nice dinner date, a fancy gift, or even the cabernet and brie I'd looked forward to throughout my pregnancy. My joy was in this magic moment. It was time to pump again and time to prepare the chocolate covered strawberries I'd planned to accompany our home-cooked dinner, but I knew the moment I moved, the magic would be gone. So, I sat, gazing at our little family, and thanking God for this amazing, ever-expanding love.