big

Lily has been happily sleeping out on the deck in her little tent every night the weather has been warm. Some nights Mark sleeps with her, others he joins me in the big comfy bed and we snuggle up close, whispering late into the night and thinking of our silly children all snug in their beds. Or we act like crazy monkeys on crack; depends on our mood.

Anyway, I haven't worried about her being out there at all. She's technically inside the walls of the house and we can easily hear her if she has a complaint. She never does, of course, but we could totally hear her if needed. Mark's been doing some more traveling (in 7 days he's crossed the US four times) and the first night he was away, I suddenly couldn't stop thinking about all the bad things that could happen to her. I lay awake well past midnight making an action plan for if I woke up and she was gone. First I'd call the police, then my mom, then Mark to get on a flight, then send an email blast to all my local groups getting them over to start canvassing the neighborhood and searching the canyon, then I'd create a flyer with photos and vital info and send someone to the copy store to print off a ton, etc. Any doubt I'm a Virgo? So there I am, wide awake, knowing Anya will be up no later than five am and I cannot sleep because I am going over and over the plan. I finally got out of bed and went to fetch her.

"Come on, girly. You're coming to sleep with me."

"Why?"

[I just had to pause from writing to discover that yes! I will scoop poop out of the bathtub by hand if needed! YAY for me! Now that I've boiled my hands I can get you all back to the regularly scheduled blog in process.]

"Mommy needs you."

"OK."

She blearily rubbed her eyes and padded after me out of the tent, circling her arms around my neck as I carried her down the stairs. I settled her into the bed and then climbed in next to her, opening my arms as she tucked herself tight against me, her curls brushing my chin, her form perfectly fitting up against mine. Just before I dropped off peacefully to sleep, no longer worrying about the safety of this little girl, it suddenly occurred to me that she didn't feel like a baby or toddler anymore. Who was this big kid wrapped up in my arms and already snoring? How did she get so big? I've had these moments before, most notably the first time I changed Lily's diaper after Anya was born and she was suddenly this HUGE thing with legs up to here and monster diapers and holy Moses, where was my baby? It was wild. This time it wasn't so much wild as it was quietly startling. She's almost four. FOUR. And somehow, that seems so very big.

On another note, nothing bad happened that night. But I can't help thinking about how incredibly angry I'd be with myself if I hadn't listened to my intuition and something HAD happened. Besides, why do we so often dismiss our intuition? Mine has never been wrong despite the fact that it hasn't always been "right." Does that make sense? Somehow it does in my head. I hate that we are taught to quiet that inner voice. Me? I'm listening to it as much as I can. Even if it tells me to grab the poop out of the bathtub and there isn't a surgical glove in sight. Sigh.