It's currently 1.04am and I am lying in the darkness of our bedroom, the only light coming from the screen of my phone which I am typing on. This isn't a normal evening, my husband is downstairs sleeping on the sofa and in his place I am snuggled up closely to a three year old little person.
I was having a bath earlier this evening when I heard Mads crying from her bedroom. After a few minutes she stopped so I left her, assuming that she was whimpering in her sleep which occasionally she does. When I went to kiss her goodnight I realised she had been sick. Not just sick, but really sick- all over her toys, bed covers, chair and carpet. We scooped her up, got her washed and put her in our bed while we attempted to sort out the carnage, which took nearly 45 minutes.
Mr E decided to sleep downstairs as we didn't want to leave her and soon it was just myself and my big girl. She was sick once more, and we had to change our sheets as well, but soon we turned the light out and lay there together in the darkness. She was excited to be in the bed with me, it very rarely happens as she is such a good sleeper. Her sickness was forgotten, and she kept trying to chat. She told me over and over again that 'I was her best friend' and she wriggled and fidgeted and pushed her body so far against mine that we couldn't have got any closer. It was like we were moulded together as one.
At one point I had my arm wrapped around her and I moved it away as I couldn't get comfy. A little voice piped up 'Mummy' and tapped my arm. 'Put your arm back, cuddle me' she whispered, and gently moved my arm so it was back holding her tight. I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her so much, and she put her little hands on my face and kissed me back hard on the lips. Every now and again I thought she was asleep but then she would kiss me randomly again. Her way of showing affection.
She started to relax and lay there sucking her fingers and playing with my ear constantly, and eventually her breathing became slower and she fell asleep. Myself meanwhile just cannot fall asleep, partly due to her continuely flicking my ear.
I am lying here in the dark, cuddling my first born daughter and I am crying. Silent tears are falling down my cheeks and I am holding my girl even closer. Breathing in every single bit of her, stroking her face and feeling her little chest rise and fall. I can just about see her long eyelashes framing her face in the dark and she is definitely now asleep. It sounds strange but I have just so many emotions running through my head.
I'm not crying because I am sad or worried for her, it's just a bug which will hopefully be forgotten about tomorrow. I am crying for I feel privileged. Privileged to be able to be the one who gets to look after this girl when she is poorly. It's such an honour to be the one she wants, the one she needs, and the one who at this moment can make it all better.
It's these kind of moments, the ordinary motherhood moments that are supposed to be hard, that I actually find the sweetest. It's motherhood at it's rawest, at it's most powerful, and it's actually a little bit addictive. That feeling of being the one to fix things.
But yet the thing with motherhood is the sobering reality that you won't always be able to fix it. That one day cuddles from Mummy might not always make the situation better. That we can't always control everything. It makes me sad to think one day she will be grown and I won't be able to do this anymore. To lie in the dark and feel like it is just us against the world.
I have a tendency to over think and over analyse. I constantly worry about the what if's. I fear the things I can't control. I question myself a lot. If I am doing it right. If I am being a good mother. There is such a stark contrast between the person I was then and the person I am now. These little people have turned our world upside down. They make me prouder, happier and more content than I ever have been before, yet they also make me more frustrated, contemplative and fearful. They have taught me that ordinary moments are one's to treasure, that material possessions aren't always important and that the simple things are often the sweetest.
But the main thing they have taught me is to be thankful. And as I lie here in the middle of the night stroking my poorly girl's beautiful curls and feeling her little chest rise and fall, I am so thankful that I am the one who gets to be her Mummy.
To experience the good, the bad, the hard and the difficult times that inevitably come with motherhood.
To be able to experience this very special night with my daughter, sickness bug and all.