My Favorite Moment of Motherhood

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When I was wheeled out of the hospital after I gave birth, I had never felt prouder in my life. I remember holding Sloan, who was bundled up and sleeping, and tearing up as we went through the halls. I already felt like I knew her, two days in. I couldn't believe that there would be instances that could top that one. But at ten months old, I love her even more and can actually pinpoint my favorite moment of motherhood so far.

At a young age, Sloan started having 'stranger danger.' She cries anytime she's in the arms of someone she doesn't know well, which makes things tough. Even though my mom and dad visit once a month, it still takes her a while to warm up to them. So when my parents were in town a couple of months back and she started to recognize them, we were ecstatic. They fed her, crawled around together on the floor, and gave her baths, and in turn, she offered gummy smiles. So we figured she'd be okay if my dad was there to get her after her nap while my mom and I walked and G went on a bike ride.

I told my dad all our tricks, just in case: show her herself in the mirror (she's a little vain), bounce up and down to music, find any of the cats, or put her in her bouncer. But when she woke up from her nap and I wasn't there, none of the tricks worked and Sloan was inconsolable. Luckily my mom and I hadn't gone far (in fact, I'd insisted on doing laps around our block). When I texted my dad to see how they were doing, he wrote, "she doesn't seem that happy with me." We went straight home, where he met us at the door with Sloan in his arms, red-faced and tears lining her cheeks.

Sloan had been in the midst of a meltdown, but calmed down as soon as she was in my arms. She did that breath-catching thing kids do after they've cried a lot while I took her into her room. Up until that point, she wasn't much of a cuddler. She'd let me rock her to sleep when she was really little, but was always too busy to be affectionate. On that afternoon though, I sat with her and held her to my chest. She laid her head on my shoulder and I felt her tiny body gradually relax over the next thirty minutes. It was the longest she'd ever just stayed in my arms and I felt like I had the most important job in the world.

Luckily Sloan's only gotten more affectionate since then, but that moment was one of the sweetest I've ever experienced. And as soon as she calmed down and saw my dad, she couldn't have been more excited to get back on the floor with him for the rest of the afternoon.