Awhile back, I very nearly had a mild heart attack. I brought Sarah Lamar some books to look through and I realized I couldn't remember if I've EVER read to her. It was such a huge component of Annie's infancy- it was one of THE only things I did consistently, I was so paralyzed by so much. I didn't do as well with Graves, but I prioritized it. Annie reads to her a good bit, but....part of me felt like I was being way too dramatic but part of me was devastated (and part of me feels like it's huge that I'm admitting this.) I know it sounds absurd but it was one of those "I can't believe this is me" moments. I realized I had read to her some when I've read to the big kids while bouncing her in my lap or nursing her. But never really for her own sake. In many ways I feel like I've given much more of myself with her than with them, but in others I know the opposite is true. I've taken much better care of myself physically this time- getting enough sleep and eating much better- but with homeschooling and just the incessant, often deep, dialogue that comes with school age children, I'm much more mentally drained than I was when I had an infant and a toddler. I thought about it and I don't sing to her nearly as much as I did to them, either. When I hold her I mostly want to snuggle her, not read her a book and I mostly want the silence when I can have it.
I whisper over and over that "I love you, Sarah Lamar. You're such a special girl, Sallie." I trace her features and I stroke her soft, thin baby hair and I make little circles in her palm with my thumb and she still often drifts off to sleep with us holding hands. That's enough. That's more than enough. She will know she's loved. I'm sure of it.
But it's time to start reading her some books.