I wish

I wish I could stretch these nights a little longer. I wish I could hold on to my baby for more than just this moment--cradling her in my arms, her eyes closed, sweet staccato breaths as quiet whispers, full round cheeks, and soft smile spreading warmly enough over her pointed chin to melt this mommy's heart. The days and weeks are already flashing by. I can already see her in her cap and gown... and I'm afraid it's going to happen tomorrow.

"Don't ever leave me," I want to say to her. But that would be a lie. I want her to grow. I want her to be determined, adventurous, and strong. I want her to soar. I want her to fly.

Sophia, 3 days old

But not yet. Right now I want her to stay by me. I secretly beg, "please slow down little girl." I can see her leaving for college. It's only a for moment I get to wrap her in my arms, follow her hairline with my finger, and kiss her curly toes. The time will soon come when she no longer grips my finger with her miniature hands.

Sleepy girl, 5 days old

And I cry hidden tears--both of joy and heart ache. These days are almost over already. "Enjoy this time. Cherish every moment. Celebrate every new milestone. All the stages are so much fun," they all say. I know they are right, but for now I need to freeze this moment.