On our recent trip to Utah, not once, on either of our 4 1/2 hour plane rides did Ella fall asleep. I purposefully did not give her a nap either day expecting her to pass out at least an hour or two into the trip. In fact, both days, she stayed up hours past her bedtime with no sign of giving in.
Yesterday we took a trip to Baltimore, to visit the National Aquarium. It was our first time, and despite the rough start (we headed out a little late and I had to go to the bathroom the entire trip, leading me to seriously ponder the feasibility of peeing in the bushes next to one of the train stops) it was a pretty low-key day. I have issues with crowds, so the first half of the day was a little suffocating, but the last two exhibits we went to were much better and the kids got to spend a few hours with their faces pressed up against the glass, staring at various creatures.
We were there for a total of maybe 4 hours. The kids were getting tired so we headed back to the train station. My first clue that Ella had hit her limit was that she asked me to carry her. Usually she wants to not only walk by herself, but there will be absolutely no hand-holding whatsoever. Once we got on the train, she and Will spent the first few minutes playing with their new toys (Will’s shark kept biting Ella’s jellyfish) and then all of a sudden, she fell on my lap, passed out.
The rest of the ride was spent with my arm around her, her head resting on my purse. It seems like it’s been more than a year since I’ve had a chance to really hold my first baby – to look at how blonde her hair is, how long her eyelashes are, how rosy her cheeks get when she’s sleepy. She seems so grown up most of the time, but on my lap, she seemed small again.
It’s rare moments like that one that remind me of how much I love being a mom.