Tomorrow is the day I couldn't wait for during the long, sleepless, colicky nights... when daytime and nighttime all blurred together into one, along with feedings, naps and diaper changes. Oftentimes I didn't even know what day it was and I considered myself on top of things when my teeth were brushed, my underwear were clean and my hoodie matched my sweatpants. I didn't know how on earth I would get to the end of February, but I knew that by the time this date rolled around, we would be past the bad stuff and onto the stuff that makes hearts melt. Or at least I was counting on it.
So as I rocked Lilly after her bedtime bottle tonight and the fine little fuzzies on her head tickled my nose and she serenaded me with her precious eating sounds, my heart wilted in sadness thinking that tomorrow is the day that she becomes a big girl.
I don't want to leave my baby tomorrow. No one in the world could love her as much as her daddy and I do. No one else knows how to hold her, belly to belly, in just the right way to calm her into a peaceful sleep. Or the way she likes to have her back rubbed during tummy time. Or that when she grunts right after lying down in her crib it means she needs to burp onnnnne more time. Or that she only likes a pacifier in her mouth occasionally, and when she does she only likes it for a couple minutes, but during those couple minutes she needs us to hold it for her. Sure, these are all things I can tell her fill-in mommies tomorrow, but it's just. not. the same.
This afternoon I despairingly packed her bag, labeled her bottles, found just the right pillow to put under her mattress, and filled out all the forms I've been putting off for days. When I got to "Name: " I couldn't see through my tears to fill in "Lillian Curtis, Sweet Baby Girl, My Gift from God, My Everything. Please Be Good To Her"
And yet, after I hand her over to Crystal and Marissa at 8am sharp and walk the ten steps over to my office, knowing full well that I am blessed beyond comparison to have my daughter just steps away, in wonderfully caring hands, I know I will cry. I know my heart will wilt a bit more. I know that 12:00 won't come soon enough. What I don't know is at what time I crossed the line from loving my daughter to loving her so much it hurts.