How many times have I done this before? Been in the midst of work or play to find a naked toddler running up to me - messily crumbling and melting into the bits that only come before nap time?
But there's lunch on the stove - needing stirring; books on my lap - needing reading; little ones at my side - needing loving; and toys at my feet - needing serious picking up.
With a one-arm scoop and a kiss, she's in my arms. The lunch gets stirred, the books get read, the little ones get loved, and the toys wait.
My breathing has slowed and changed to a calmer rhythym. Then I look down in my arms to find her asleep - drifted off to the sounds of our everyday. She's our baby - she may not always get a quiet room of solitude and rocking to sleep. But she does get this. This is her special lullaby.
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One in three women are victims of violence. They are our neighbors, our friends, our mothers and our sisters, they are us. It doesn't have to be our daughters. This is it, Mamas. We can change it.
UN International Women's Day - information for children
Faces of Survivors: Voices Reclaimed - photo project
Stop Violence Against Women (Safe Schools for Girls) - Amnesty International
Women Thrive Worldwide - ask your (US) senator to support the I-VAWA (International Violence Against Women Act)
Family Violence Prevention Fund - coaching boys into men
In honor of the women I love and International Women's Day.