For months I worried that weaning would mean the end of our special bond. Especially our nighttime routine, just the two of us in a love embrace.
But you have been fully weaned a few weeks now, and I can't believe how smoothly it went. You are such a big girl. You are still a Mama's girl, but every day you get more and more independent.
Even so, our nights are still special.
It is really special that sometimes Daddy can put you to bed now; I know he enjoys that.
But it is usually the two of us, and I cherish it.
We head to your room and as I try to wriggle you into pajamas, you say "BUK, BUK!" (book, book) with increasing intensity and excitement.
You climb in my lap, freshly bathed and smelling of Johnson's baby shampoo and Elmo toothpaste.
You hold your monkey and a book or two while I read to you. You finally started letting me finish each book... most of the time.
Our favorites right now are "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein and a book written as a children's prayer thanking God for our beautiful world.
We say a bedtime prayer together. You get excited as I list things we are thankful for. Sometimes you rush me because your favorite part is saying "OHM!" (Amen.)
After reading, you let me cradle you like a baby. I rock you and sing songs, usually church songs because I can never remember all the words to lullabies.
Certain songs prompt you to "sing" along. You watch my face intently, gazing deep into my eyes and studying my lips. When Hadley kicks, you raise an eyebrow as if perplexed.
As your eyes start to droop, I let you turn off the light and turn on the sound machine... jobs you find great satisfaction in.
As the rhythm of ocean waves syncs with our rocking motion, you tuck your head under my chin and our hearts and our breathing slow together. We exchange kisses and I whisper the words in my heart as I lay you down. Your last slow blinks follow me into my own dreams.
I love you a million bedtime stories,