The warmth of his hand

There is something so special about each of the bloggers I invite to post here on Small Moments Mondays (SMM).  As I’m sure that you’ve gathered by now, I over think absolutely everything.  When I compile a list of bloggers to invite, my list is never random.

This week, I’m excited to share with you my friend Fadra, who blogs over at all.things.fadra.  Why did I invite Fadra to tackle SMM?  Because I enjoy her writing style so very much.

I’ve been struggling to find the words to describe Fadra’s writing and the best that I’ve been able to come up with is to tell you that she uses exactly as many words as she needs to communicate what she’s trying to say and not a single word more.  Her writing feels streamlined and logical, beautiful and clean.  I also love Fadra because she is so savvy…more often than not, I learn something new from her posts.

Thank you for sharing your small moment with us, Fadra.  Your story makes me all soft and squishy inside.  Your little guy is a lucky boy to have you for his mother.

The Warmth of His Hand — by Fadra

I’ve always thought of myself as a small moments kind of girl. I actually do stop to smell the flowers. I watch the birds and butterflies in the yard. I enjoy my kitty laying next to me on the bed. I savor a lot of the small moments.

Thinking back to my childhood, I remember the family trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. But I connect with the memory of the giant paper flowers on a stick that my sister and I got as souvenirs. I remember collecting Valentine’s Day cards from my classmates but I can clearly see the red and white striped shoebox decorated with paint stamps of hearts and stars and moons.

It’s those small things that make those small moments that etch those memories in our minds forever.

And now that I’m a mom, I know that I’m creating those small moments for my son. We spend so many special times together and I think about what will stay and what will fade. I think about Little Gym classes and storytime at the library. I think about the racetrack he got for Christmas and the latest Happy Meal toy. But I’m hoping my small moments are the ones that will stay with him.

My small moments are the ones that come every night just before my son drifts off to sleep. I have always been lucky as a mom in that my son was a sleeper. At 9 weeks, he slept through the night. He loved his pacifier. When he got older, I simply laid him in his crib, gave him the pacifier, said goodnight and walked away. It was a simple bedtime routine. Never a need to cry it out. Never a need to co-sleep. Everything worked just fine.

Then as he got older, he moved to a toddler bed. Every once in a while, I would squeeze in and cuddle him. Most nights, I might sit on the rocking chair and stay for a lullaby or two. He’s almost 4 now. And a few months ago we moved him to a big boy bed. It’s a full size bed.

The first few nights I stayed with him until he fell asleep. I remember him telling me how he felt about his newly arranged room. “Mommy,” he said, “everything just feels so different.” Growing up is hard. I wanted to ease the transition. I stayed a few more nights.

Now, we have our nightly routine. We sit in his bed together. We read a book, or two, or five. We read sweet stories. We learn about sharks. He asks me every question in the world and I do my best to answer. We give kisses and hugs, turn on some music, turn out the lights, and turn on his Twilight Turtle projecting stars on his ceiling.

In the blue light of his nightlight, we snuggle. Some nights we just chat. Something about the darkness allows him to release his day. He’ll tell me how someone at daycare said something he didn’t like. Or someone took his toy. Or he heard some grown-up talk during the day he didn’t understand. We talk about it. I’m honored that he shares it with me.

He kisses my arm or my face. He reaches for my hand and holds it until he falls asleep. These are the small moments for me. The moments when I feel the warmth of his hand. The moments when I am amazed that I made this little creature and this little creature loves me “to infinity and beyond.”

Long after he falls asleep, I lay there listening to his breathing. I kiss him one more time. I cover him up with a snuggly blanket even though he insists he likes to be cold. And I imagine what dreams he must have.

I think about this habit I’ve created. He won’t go to sleep without me right beside him. I’ve undone all of the wonderful sleeping habits I established early on. I’ve become that parent that is trapped by my child’s bedtime. I want a break. I want my grown-up life in the evenings. But even on late nights, when I come home and see his lights are off and my heart sinks a little. These are my small moments. And they are moments I will hang on to as long as he lets me.

Okay, you know what to do now…go on over and visit Fadra at all.things.fadra.  Be sure to read some of my favorite posts: Why Twitter Friends Are Better Than Co-Workers, Joy Comes in the Morning, If I Was a Rich Girl.

And while you’re visiting, be sure to check out the genius new meme that Fadra has just begun hosting, stream of consciousness Sunday, where Fadra challenges us to take five minutes and just write what we’re thinking, as we think it.  No editing.  I took part this week and found it refreshing to just sit and write without worrying about anything but the writing itself.


  1. Oh, so so sweet.

    We didn't co-sleep. I work in health care and had to be rested. And our son DID have to cry it out, which fortunately only took two days.

    But then once he could put himself to sleep without drama, that's when the real pleasure of the reading and the story and the cuddles started.

    He will eventually be ready to fall asleep again without you there. That's pretty much guaranteed. So enjoy each night while you have them.

  2. Sherri

    Those bedtime routines are heavenly, no matter what form they take. There's nothing more precious than a sleepy child, snuggling up next to you and drinking in your every word from a favorite book. Wonderful post, Nichole! Thank you for sharing your friend with us.

  3. melissa

    i've been cuddling my son, every night, for almost 7 years. as much as i complain about it lately, i know that the moment will soon be fleeting and he won't need me anymore. so i do treasure it.
    lovely post, fadra.


  4. ksluiter

    I love this post so much. Eddie and I have our nighttime routine too…it is so special to me since I am gone almost all day from him. I can't wait until he is in a big bed so we can sit together and read stories and chat. This post makes me so happy.

  5. Natalie

    Oh, this is so touching. Those sweet moments alone with them mean more to me than almost anything else.

  6. kris

    I was also very proud of the fact that we got our daughters to go to sleep on a schedule. That I had time to spend with my husband in the evening. That we had a routine.

    Each girl with her own bed. Her own room.

    My older daughter is eleven now. She is a spikey child. She does not allow me to hug her or to kiss her. She does not welcome my embrace.

    She also worries too much. And sometimes has insomnia.

    And so I have told her that if she finds herself awake in the middle of the night, she can come sleep with us. She has come to join us a few times.

    And she snuggles up against me. Pulls covers. Rests her head on my pillow.

    Reaches for my arm to pull it around her.


    Those moments? In which my older daughter is softer and needier and turns to me?

    Treasures in my memory.

    And I hope in hers as well.

    Loved this post.

    Thank you.

  7. mommylebron

    This is so sweet! My oldest was a co sleeper, my middle was a self sleeper, and my youngest was a co sleeper who still needs that little chunk of my attention every night. I brush her hair, we chat, I tuck her and her doll in and after a hug and a kiss she goes to sleep. I also treasure this time because no matter how bad our day gets, we always have this.

  8. Fadra

    Lori – I don't know when I crossed over from "ugh, I'm stuck in his room again" to "oh, I don't mind this little moment of peacefulness" but at least I can appreciate it while I have it.

  9. Fadra

    Since you're my new BFF, I expect to be seeing a lot of you. Oh, and you can still squish into a twin bed ;)

  10. Fadra

    Thanks for the kind words, Sherri!

  11. Fadra

    Thanks, Melissa. If 7 is still a cuddly age, I know I have at least 3 more years. Yay!

  12. Fadra

    Oh my goodness. What a sweet thing to say. I'm blushing. But only a little ;)

  13. Fadra

    Until the big bed, we still squished in his rocker/recliner that I got for the nursery. I just sold it yesterday (sniff, sniff) but it was to a new mom expecting a little boy. So I hope she has the sweet memories that I do!

  14. Fadra

    Yes! I evoked emotion! Just kidding. Although I did actually made myself cry after I read it.True emotions :)

  15. Fadra

    Thanks, Natalie. And you are exactly right about those sweet moments alone. It's why Nichole's blog is so fab!

  16. Fadra

    Kris – I hear you. I take every snuggle I can get because it might be the last. I already see some of the sweet innocence slipping away. I constantly make my son reassure me that he won't hate me when he's a teenager. He can't even imagine it. But I can. Makes these moments so much more important know that there will be a day when they aren't there.

  17. Fadra

    That's exactly it. No matter what the day was like or how many tears were shed, we always end on a good note. With some snuggles and kisses and I always hope it gives him good dreams at night.

  18. Aimee

    This is such a beautiful post that I'm sure most parents can relate to in some way. I love having a similar routine with my 3 year old – the snuggling, the stories, the show tunes we sing (wait, did I just admit that here?). I love every moment of it. But then there are the nights when all I want to do is read a quick story and then get to the Internet or a favorite TV show I've been wanting to watch. It's rare, but it does happen, when I have to remind myself that those things can wait. I have all the time in the world for those things. I don't, on the other hand, have all the time in the world with my son, right now, at this moment in time.

  19. Oh Fadra what a beautiful post. My heart skipped a beat, what a touching post. Now I want to go in and lay with my boys. I have to admit some nights I just want the bedtime routine to be over so I can have a little me time…but I always think I will miss this one day. I really do love night time – when we cuddle in bed and read stories together…this was such a wonderful post :)

  20. Natalie

    I love this post so much. It takes my back to my first few years of mommyhood.

    All 3 of my kids have been good sleepers, but were still different. My oldest was the only one who needed to be snuggled & rocked. At the time, I complained & groaned about the time I thought was wasted. Now that he’s almost 14, I’d love to have a few of those uninterrupted minutes of just me & him snuggled in a chair.

  21. Alexandra174

    Glad to meet her, and thank you for bringing such high guality bloggers to us.

    Her stream of consciosness Sundays has my attention, I will definitely be linking up for that.

    Thank you!

    And a lovely, lovely post, Fadra. Photos and sentiments, all.

  22. melissa

    what a great post, Fadra! I sometimes have to remind myself to savor those small moments instead of wanting them to sleep so I can get things "off my to-do list." Great reminder!

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