Midnight moments

The toddler is going through another growing spurt. We noticed her little "signs" a few days ago.You know, things like eating enough at one meal to put a mac trucker to shame. And then aeli benchsking for more. Did I mention eating? It's the surefire way to get me in high alert for a clothing run in the next size up at Target. I better get moving; she's outgrown two of her 2T shirts in the past three days.

I don't want my little baby to grow up just as much as I do. Every day is an adventure. Something new learned. Something different said. A new memory to file away because there never seems to be enough time to grab that damned baby book.

Last night, though, the Toddler decided to make my transition from Mother of Baby to Mother to Little Girl. We had gone for our nightly walk through out our little subdivision (Mama's working on a Memoir about losing the baby fat which means I need to actually do something about the ever-expanding size of my butt). We walked for over an hour, and by the time I turned back for home, the Toddler was dead weight. So sweet.

That was about 7 p.m. Normally, I'd be home free. The toddler may have given up her naps, but she moved her own bed time up two hours to make up the difference and thankfully sleeps through the night.

But she's growing. Her brain is sending so many messages to her little body right now that is must be comparable to me trying to sleep after a trip to Starbucks. And at 11:30 p.m., she woke up.

"Mama, read a book," the Toddler said. Normally I'd be the mean mommy and tell her to go back to sleep. But last night was different.

There were plenty of nights I couldn't sleep when I was in high school. A new crush or the excitement of the next day's tennis match would keep me from dreaming.

Instead of fighting it, I would quietly grab a book and a flashlight. Summer nights were perfect for sitting on the porch and reading. But no matter how quiet I was, my mother would always hear me and step outside. She'd ask me what I was doing, I'd tell her that I couldn't sleep and she'd lie and tell me she couldn't either. With that, the book went on my lap and our eyes to the night sky as we gazed at the stars and just sat there.

Sometimes we'd talk. Sometimes not. Either way, it didn't matter. Those nights are forever etched in my memory.

I know the Toddler is too young to remember last night. But I'll never forget her excitement as we chose a few of her favorite books and cuddled up on my bed. I probably read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Good Night Moon" ten times each before we both passed out, her with her head on my chest and me with a pile of books next to my pillow.

That's how my husband found us when we got home from work in the middle of the night. Mother and daughter, sharing a midnight moment that I'll hold on to tighter and tighter as she grows each and every day.