I survived the usual morning rush and surveyed the damage while making a mental accounting of all things possible in the day ahead.
A book case to paint.
Curtains to sew.
A closet to organize.
Some laundry to do.
I put on exercise clothes for a morning treadmill run and lay a tired baby back in her bed.
The brief seconds on the floor to tie running shoes were momentarily too long and a girl with game in hand, was upon me.
We played. The early morning waned. The doorbell rang. There was a giggly race to retrieve a package delivery. Our disturbance unsettled the baby and the needed nap was gone.
Begging for snacks. Requests for some coloring. A doll house pulled out. Some pretend play and juggling of a tired baby amidst our invention of "Dr. Linford, Can You Please Remove This Pig From My Face??" The hilarity wore on.
"Mom, let's make a grilled cheese." so together we did and picnic-ed on the floor. The crumbs fell. The lunch dishes topped those of breakfast.
It's time for an afternoon rest, says the baby's newest actions. Then, maybe, I'll squeeze in that run.
We laid on my bed with library books high and the girl suggested we wrap like a "taco".
I read and I read and the wiggly baby under one arm stopped moving as the gentle breath under the other arm, slowed to deep and even.
The handful of nocturnal feedings coupled with the early morning whirlwind triple header out the door to school, catches up with me and I'm powerless to my fading eyelids.
Just a minute.
Then I'll try to move.
I opened my eyes and lay still, trying to clear the fog of my brain. On my side, the baby curls inward to me, all squishy and soft like she's always belonged right in that spot. A velvety toddler hand drapes over from behind, limp and heavy as the little girl to my back presses her face into my shoulder.
The slanted sun across the bedroom told me it was late.
I could slip away now but we're on the precipice and the slightest motion will wake the magic of this moment.
If I had super powers, I could will that latest parenting book just out of reach to my hand and at least, multitask my trapped position.
If I had a clone, I could whip up some cookies for that hungry teenage boy about to re-enter.
Instead I lay there enclosed in the soft, light breath of infantile sandwich.
The front door opened and slammed and the calls for mom stirred the enchantment. It's clear, the shelf ... the curtains .. the closet ... the laundry ... the parenting book ... the cookies ... will remain untouched today. A wash. I didn't do anything. A day I'll never get back.
The evening raged on with dinner, after school activity pickups, homework, referee-ing, repremanding, frustration, apologies, cleanup and chores, bedtime kisses and tuck ins. Babies asleep, I stood in the dimmed light and removed the unused exercise clothing. Tomorrow. I guess.
Warmly pj'd, I heard a soft voice behind me and turned to see the little girl. She grabbed my legs and held on tight. "Why aren't you in bed?" I ask and run my fingers through that curly hair.
"Mom," her face beamed up at me in the dark, "It was the best day ever. You are my best friend ever."
And I didn't even do anything. A day I'll never get back.
What did you do today that you will never get back?