I stand at the end of her bed, staring at her. Memorizing the way she always sleeps on top of her pile of blankets instead of under them. The way she holds a silky corner of a blanket or hugs her puppy while she sleeps. There are 6 blankets in her bed with her. Overkill? Maybe. But she loves them all, and the first thing she does when I put her in bed is bury her face in them, sit back up and smile at me, then put 2 or 3 of her favorite ones on a pile and cuddle up on top of them with her bottle.
My heart bursts with love for this beautiful child. This baby, who in 4 short months has become an extension of me. Who has picked up some of my habits and traits. Who lights up when I enter the room after coming home from work, and comes as fast as she can for me to pick her up for hugs and kisses. Who is such a natural part of my life that I almost don’t remember what it was like before. What did I do? What were my evenings like then? I’m sure I filled them somehow, but not with joy like this.
She is the best thing about my life right now, no question. The very best. She gives me a reason to get up every morning, and her smiles from the moment she wakes make it impossible to have a bad morning. She is pure sunshine, and I don’t know how to imagine my life without her.
But soon, she will go. It is almost time for her to go live with her family. It is best that way, I know it in my head. When possible- when there is love and someone who can take good care of them- it is always best for babies to be with their families. But my heart. Who will tell my heart that this is what is best? Because when she goes, my heart will walk right out that door with her.
I don’t know what I will do without her.
But I will learn.
And I will trust that this precious girl- the one who stole my heart from day one, the one who just looks at me and giggles for the joy of giggling- I will trust that that baby girl will know. She’ll know that Jesus loves her more than anyone else could possibly love her. That he is holding her all the time. And when I pray for her every day, I will trust that she remembers the songs we sang and the stories we read. The prayers we prayed. That she knows that the stories are true, and that Jesus Loves Me, This I Know. And He will never, ever let her go.
Maybe someday, when she is grown, something will remind her of when she was a wee child and she will remember someone loved her so very much during a time when she needed it so very much.
And she will know that she is loved more than she can even imagine.
And so are you and I.