Just One More Minute, Mommy

Just One More Minute, Mommy

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reader's Choice 20th Anniversary Edition

Just One More Minute, Mommy

We’ve had bad luck with our kids — they’ve all grown up.

~Christopher Morley

I was a nervous and uncertain new mom, the perfect target audience for the recently released Chicken Soup for the New Mom’s Soul that I received as a gift from my husband. I read it cover to cover within two days and dog-eared my favorite stories. They would continue to inspire me on the days when I needed reassurance that I wasn’t the first to tackle the challenges of being in this new role. One story in particular, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” stuck with me for some reason. I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait until my baby girl, Priya, was potty trained. I couldn’t wait until we were past the baby stage, then the toddler stage, and most definitely could not wait until we were through the terrible-twos.

Well, we made it through all of those first years with Priya and I was blessed with another pregnancy. It was time to move Priya into a big girl bed and start getting things ready for baby number two. In those early days of the transition to the new bed, we had to lie beside Priya to convince her to stay in her room and resist the temptation to explore her new nighttime independence. It became a nightly chore and my husband and I would begrudgingly take turns every other night lying in that little twin bed trying to get her to fall asleep. After lying silently beside her, pretending to be asleep for five, ten, sometimes fifteen minutes, I would ever so quietly try to roll off the bed without waking her. But without fail, night after night, Priya would whisper, “Just one more minute, Mommy?” I was certain that some nights she actually spoke those words in her sleep.

But that bedtime routine stuck, and here I am years later, still lying beside Priya each and every night as she goes to sleep. Through all of these years, the last thing she says every night as I try to make my quiet exit is the same, asking for “just one more minute.” She still has that same twin bed, but a lot has changed within the walls of that bedroom. Priya is almost six now and is nearing the end of kindergarten. She is growing up way too quickly with her talk of boys and music, and sometimes an attitude that I thought wouldn’t arrive for another ten years at least. Over the past few months it has really hit me that my baby girl is growing into a big girl much faster than I expected. I am not ready for her to stop believing in princesses. Or to stop holding my hand in public. Or to call me “Mom” instead of “Mommy.”

In the past few months my son, Keegan, has become fully potty trained and is now sleeping in a big-boy bed of his own. I think back to that story I read years ago and realize that I am in the very same position as the woman who wrote that story. I realize completely now what she meant when she said “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Our bedtime conversations have now changed and there is a little less room for me in that twin bed, but I still lie with Priya as she falls asleep each night. I realize that these days are numbered and soon the time will come when she won’t even want me in her room at all.

So tonight when she whispers “Just one more minute, Mommy?” I know there is no other place in the world I would rather be. I will snuggle her close, give her a kiss on the head and tell her, “Yes Priya. Just one more minute.”

~Ritu Shannon

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