the cutest belly you ever did see...
i love putting marlo to bed for the night. and before you think, 'how rude!', let me explain.

when marlo is going, she is full-throttle. completely non-stop. so when she has a bad day, it's just shit. i'd swear that she is already a pms-ing teenager. it's an intense power struggle and i rarely win. she's moody, grumpy, and stubborn as hell. (she obviously get's that from joe.) a bad day makes me grateful for wine and anti-depressants and i've never been more serious.

so tonight, after one of those days, i was very much looking forward to our nightly routine: a bath, some splishes and splashes, a few songs and books, nursing, and then it's all she wrote. see ya' tomorrow, hitler.

but tonight was different. after our normal routine, she finished nursing, i picked her up and hugged her, whispered i love you like i always do, and then she hugged me back. for the first time, she wrapped her little arms around my neck and hugged me tight. i stopped thinking and just felt. i felt this sweet baby- my baby- hug me. i didn't want to let go. i wanted to hold her there forever. but then marlo started snoring and totally ruined the moment. so into her crib she went, i tip-toed out of her room, and here i am drinking that glorious glass of wine.

with that hug, on came a light bulb. i realized that not every day can be sunshine and laughter and smiles. sure, every day needs a little bit of each to keep the balance, but not every day can be an overall winner. and if i teach marlo anything, i want to teach her that there is beauty in the struggle. i want her to be thankful for those rough days because they make the sweet tender moments of life that much more precious. i want her to be proud of the days that give her a run for her money. i never want her ashamed for not having it all together. i want her to know that no one has it all together.

if my current struggle has taught me anything, it's that life's preciousness isn't to be taken for granted, it's to be cherished. that unexpected little hug was absolutely cherished and will be remembered forever.

tonight was one of those moments that took my breath away. tonight was one of those ah ha! moments where i realized this is what it's all about. that simple, sweet hug from my beautiful, precious baby is what it's all about. and to think that i may have missed it if it were tangled up in any other ordinary day of sunshine and roses?

there is so much beauty in the struggle and because of that hug, i will never forget it.



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