A Moment for The Memory Vault


Tiny slices of time put together forming our lives, our memories.

Some you long to cut from your life, never to be thought of again.

Some moments you want to lock in the vault so they are never lost to Mommy Brain.

Others you would do anything to capture, depositing them in the Bank of Remembrance where it will forever be held safe and secure in the vault.

A moment hit me last night – one I never wish to forget.

It wasn’t a surprise.

It wasn’t rare.

It occurs nearly every evening.

But it will go away.

Every night, my husband does the bath time ritual. It is his job. His time.

We began this for two reason: 1) It gives me a much needed break. 2) It was suggested in the baby books as a great way for dads to have skin to skin contact and bonding time with their newborns; as a nursing mother I already had ten hours a day bonding with my children.

As they aged, I lost my nursing time. The feel of a warm baby curved around my stomach, their tiny fingers gripping my own – it’s done.

I don’t plan on experiencing it again.

My husband still has bath time.

Each night, first my Lil Diva, then The Tackler, disappear upstairs into our master bath for a shower or a bath.

I wait.

Soon, the Lil Diva finishes, and CG carries her to me. Her pajamas are on, her hair still damp from her bath.

She reaches for me, a grin upon her face. “Mommy.”

How long until she's a "big girl" and this moment goes away?

It is our time, the moment she will choose me over her beloved Daddy.

She wraps her chubby arms around my neck, laying her wet hair against my shoulder as she hugs me tightly.

I breathe in her sweet baby shampoo scent as I sigh with joy.

We cuddle, briefly frozen in our embrace.

The moment I wish I could savor forever.

But the routine must continue.

We play Hunt for the Pacifier and Snuggly, collecting both.

She wraps the snuggly into her arm, her head burrowing into the curve of my neck as I walk up the staircase.

I grab the iPod from my pocket, flicking it on and selecting her night time play list.

I open her door.

I hug her tightly, kissing the top of her silky hair.

Some nights, she points to the chair.

On these nights, I walk to it, sitting down. She cuddles with me, head either on my  shoulder, or curling like a tiny baby into my lap.

Then the squirming starts, the buzzer signaling the end.

I stand and carry her to her crib.

“Mommy loves you so much. Night night, sweetie.”

I release her, placing her inside.

She rolls onto her side, sometimes her belly – her tiny bottom stuck high in the air.

“Sleep tight.” I say, as I exit the room.

The moment over, at least until tomorrow.

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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24 Responses to A Moment for The Memory Vault

  1. John says:

    Awww – what a beautiful ritual. I just realized that my babies don’t automatically wrap their hands around my finger – I don’t know when it stopped, but it did, and that made me quite sad.

    • Aww…

      The really cool thing? They start wrapping their hands around your finger on purpose, reaching out for you – no longer just a reflex.

      It’s a beautiful moment, as they reach for you, find your finger, and grin as they accomplish this tiny goal.

  2. Memories. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of moments long past.

  3. Kir says:

    this was such a gorgeous post, I was wiping away tears at the end. I love that smell of the boys when they are freshly bathed and sleepy…their little bodies heavy and cuddly. My very favorite time of the day.

    So glad you got to add it to your memory vault

  4. Bellymonster says:

    I began blogging as a way of preserving those memories – the ones that fall by the wayside as weary Mamas push to simply get through the day. So glad you shared your blessed, precious moment here. It helps all Mamas remember to hold close these moments of pefect at the end of days that weren’t.

    • Well said.

      I began blogging for 3 main reasons: to record the good and the bad (the latter I find very cathartic), to share these with my family who live far away, and to write – because after four years of stay at home parenthood, my brain was turning into gelatinous goo and I missed a part of myself.

      Tiny moments like these are the ones most forgotten in the stress of the day. This one occurs at least six times a week, every week, yet I only now wrote of it.

      Already I read of moments from last summer and say, “I’d forgotten about that.”

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Annie says:

    So sweet. And so important to write the moment down! A memory to keep.

    My husband and I have a similar agreement. He always reads the bedtime stories because some days that is the only time he gets with the kids. It is always those small simple moments that mean the most.

    • I know my husband is often sarcastic and says “Time to go away from Mommy now” but I know most days (meltdown ones excluded) this is also his favorite time of day.

      Also? It is the one time my daughter will seek me out and leave her precious Daddy (separating them in the morning can be difficult – she knows he’ll leave when she does).

  6. Kate says:

    Wow. I remember those times so clearly. It does make me a little sad that my kids are too big to crawl around in my lap. But, at 13, my “little girl” does still come around for a hug before bedtime. And here’s the beauty of this “advanced” nighttime ritual. SHE says to ME, “Sleep good, Mom.” That she would even consider how I might need the rest or enjoy the darkness makes my heart swell. Believe me when I tell you that it just keeps getting better.

  7. I can only hope my children are as sweet and caring at 13. I know you receive other “perks” with age, but I have always loved the snuggle phase and mourn it the most.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  8. jennifer121 says:

    Absolutely beautifully written – you nailed my feelings so well when I snuggle with my boys and tuck them in.

  9. Ilana says:

    I love this. You know Mazzy and Lil Diva are close in age and we have so many of the same rituals. The hunt, the snuggle, the squirm, the butt high up in the air while she’s sleeping— what is that about anyway? She used to do that all the time when she was really little— it’s less now, but whenever I see it, it makes me smile.

    • My son also used to sleep this way, pretty much from when he could roll over.

      I wonder if it has to do with habit – the start it when young and you rarely see their legs straight, so when they roll over, the legs are tucked beneath, sticking the butt high into the air.

      It just screams “baby sleeping position” to me, and always makes me smile too. Ditto if I catch my son doing it.

      Yes, Mazzy and Lil Diva do share many things. I wish I could get my daughter to keep a barrette in her hair for longer than 4 seconds. She’s sporting the cute “baby mullet” right now, and I can’t bring myself to cut the super soft baby hair. I had to with my son, and hated it. Now his is all course and rough – the baby hair a distant memory.

      Boy, I’m wallowing in the sappiness lately.

      I love this night time moment, and I’m glad you and Mazzy have it as well.

  10. Shari Green says:

    I loved reading this. Thanks! I think treasuring moments like these brings true richness to our lives. (It always seems so sad when our kids grow out of certain treasure-making things, but you know, it seems whenever one precious stage ends, another amazing thing begins. Still, I know what you mean about the vault! I hope I never forget all the poignant, precious moments….)

  11. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    Great post, Kelly. You brought tears to my eyes. It’s good to stop and take these precious moments in.

  12. I could feel the moment as I similarly experience it with my boys 🙂


  13. Pingback: Small Moments Spotlight #15 | in these small moments

  14. Leighann says:

    Perfect Kelly.
    Those moments we wish we could bottle and take out when we wanted!!
    You describe them perfectly.

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