Lately I’ve been thinking about how fast Riley’s little toddler life is zipping by. I mean, I know every mom says that, “It goes by so fast! Blah, blah, blah” but they say that because it is true. Too true.
I have a mommy journal, which was one of my favorite baby gifts from a friend. When Riley was an infant, I used it to record all of Riley’s milestones and cute things. This was doable, because as an infant, she didn’t do much. So updating the mommy journal, “Riley smiled today!” “Riley rolled over onto her belly!” was a simple and easy task.
Now that she is a toddler, she does about 983208 cute things per day. Every time we notice something new and sweet she does, by the time I would write it down, she’s already started doing several other new, cute things. So I don’t really update the mommy journal anymore. It feels too daunting of a task. How would I record everything that I want to?
Sometimes it scares me. What if I can’t remember my favorite things she does? It is hard to watch these sweet days slip right through my fingers. As a matter of fact, as I rocked Riley while she slept yesterday, I prayed and asked the Lord to ingrain these sweet moments into my forever memory. I don’t want to lose them. One day Riley will be a 21 year old on her own, and I want to remember the things she did when she was 21 months old.
So I’m thankful for my little corner of the internet, where I cannot record everything, but can keep documentation of some of the sweetest days with Riley.
One of them happened a week ago. A surprise mother/daughter sleepover at a hotel!
(Unfortunately, I don’t mean “surprise” as in I planned a surprise little getaway. I mean surprise as in unexpected, last minute.)
I had been visiting some sweet friends in Charlotte (a few hours away) for a couple of days with Riley while Jordan was out of town. On my drive back that Friday, in the middle of rush hour traffic, I got sick. Sick as in, keeled over in pain sick. In case you’ve never tried it before, you cannot really drive while keeled over. Poor Jordan was far away when he got a call from me sobbing on the phone. I didn’t know what to do. I was at least 2 hours away from home (more with traffic), and an hour away from where I had just come from. I had our daughter in the backseat and I was struggling to drive. It was an awful feeling. To have your child’s safety in your hands and to be unsure whether or not you can actually protect it… well I don’t need to tell you how much anxiety that produces.
Jordan advised me to get off the interstate immediately, find a hotel, and just stay the night there.
So I did.
The sweet lady working at the front desk could tell something was wrong and so kindly carried my bags up to our room. I put cartoons on for Riley, and curled up into a ball on the bed.
Not an ideal circumstance, by any means.
However, within a couple of hours, I started feeling better.
And I started to think about how unique this opportunity was. I mean, when else am I going to have a chance for it to be just Riley and I at a hotel?
So I decided to turn this into an opportunity to have a fun mother/daughter hotel sleepover :).
Needless to say, it was really sweet time together. As a matter of fact, it is one of my favorite memories with Riley :).
The best part was that she fell asleep for the night wrapped up in my arms as I rubbed her back, stroked her hair, and sang to her. I remember closing my eyes as I breathed her in. Her hands smelled like sugar cookies, and still had a little bit of icing on them. The fluttering of her eye lashes told me she was dreaming deeply. The rise and fall of her chest was so peaceful.
I just wanted to drink it all in.
And I want to drink it all in each day. I don’t want these days to fly past me without taking the time to really appreciate them, notice them, and record them somewhere permanent in my memory.
Riley Grace, if you are reading this one day, I hope you know how much I loved these moments with you, and how much I love being your mommy.