It seems as though we're nearing the end of the nap era here. If I were completely honest with myself I'd tell you - and she - that naps are all over. Because the after fall of her napping at this point often makes for a difficult nighttime - a wakeful night with lots of nursing, some tears, and endless laps around the house in the sling with Papa. But. She's in between. And I'm still holding on. There's something so wonderful about a little rest in the middle of the day. Besides the chance to rest body and mind, it's also one extra opportunity in the day for that special falling-asleep snuggling, as well as the refreshing opportunity for 'beginning again' upon waking. And then there's the peace it invokes nearby as we all repeat to each other, 'shhh....she's sleeping!" The sound of her sleepy breathing feels like the heartbeat of the house in those hours, as we all settle in to our quiet projects. Until that waking moment when we're all greeted with a sweet and cheery, "Good mornin'!" (each waking is like a new day). It's precious...and it's beautiful...and it's fleeting.
I'm finding myself holding on - not to the nap that seems to be ending, because clearly that's changing, and of course I'm excited to see what will come on the other side of this transition. But I'm holding on to the preciousness of it - the beauty of it - the gentleness of it all. The fingers curled up and covered in marker from the morning's play, the chosen doll or animal of the day snuggled up next to her, the sun streaming in through the windows and catching those little tendrils of hair at the back of her neck. I'm capturing a bit of it in my mind, and sometimes in my photographs. And holding it close to my heart, forever committing it to my Mama memory.