One of my absolute favorite parts of being a mommy is reading to my babies and rocking them to sleep. I loved reading to KA and rocking her to sleep each night in the rocking chair that my dad had given my mom when she was pregnant with me. When I had SJ, we had to get a bigger chair to accommodate two babies - Katie Anne loves to listen to me read SJ's books and sit on the arm of the chair while I rock SJ to sleep, too. (After we get him in bed, we go lay down in her bed and read her book choices together.)
I have to be really busy or really tired to miss this part of the night with my kiddos... after a long, stressful day, this is the sweetest time. I love the feeling of holding both of them, reading the same beloved books over and over to them, smelling their little post-bath damp heads, listening to their little voices... sometimes we sing little songs together like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", and I love hearing their little singing voices together in the semi-darkness.
I love sitting with both of them in the big chair cuddling and rocking them. Katie Anne's turning five this month has really hit home for me in terms of how much her time being a "little kid" is coming to an end. Surprisingly - considering how much I love taking pictures - I don't think there's a single picture of me rocking KA to sleep as a baby or toddler. I think I was too worried about messing up the process of getting her to sleep to worry with flash photography. I wish I'd given up one night of the sleep routine to document that sweet time with her. I realize now how quickly this phase passes us by in the world of raising kids, so I asked Saunders to sneak in tonight and make some pictures of me with my babies in the rocking recliner in SJ's room. He tried to be stealthy and take no-flash pictures, but it didn't work - so we busted out the flash to grab a good one of me with my two favorite babies. It took three or four tries, but Dad was able to snap a picture that perfectly captures this nightly routine for us.
I try to consciously put memories of these moments in my mind on a regular basis, but I wanted a picture so I could always look back and remember us piled in that chair with all our books and blankets and stuffed animal friends together.
It was hard to get SJ settled down after Dad busted in with a big, flashing camera, but it was worth it to capture this moment for me. Now, if only there was a way to capture their cuddly, soft, little bodies and their smooth, damp hair and their sweet bath-and-lotion smells, because those are things I love about rocking them, too. Moments - and a picture! - that I will cherish forever!