It had been in the back of my mind all day, the nagging reminder of the studying I would have to do that night towards my upcoming exam. My daughter and I had a nice day together, and I tried to remain present and enjoy, yet I still felt mildly distracted and it had been awhile since we had truly connected. I had missed bedtime the five nights prior between class and studying, but that night it was my turn. As we snuggled on the couch while dinner cooked, my daughter asked, “Where do you have to go tonight?”

For the first time in nearly a week, I got to answer, “Nowhere tonight, sweetie. We get to read stories and snuggle together before bed. Would you like that?”

As she nodded, my daughter smiled and leaned in closer. “Can you stay a little longer tonight?” she asked hopefully, thinking of how I usually stay beside her until she’s dropped off to sleep.

We do the best we can as parents to juggle it all, and sometimes we feel like we fall short for one reason or another. Despite my looming amount of work, I told my daughter that of course, I could absolutely stay a little longer that night. After all, it’s only school work, and it’ll get done; but I have priorities other than school work and one of the most dear to me was in my lap and just wanted her mom. So in that moment, the best choice I could make was her.

My daughter leaned in closer still and asked, “And after you stay a little longer, can you stay even more and just hold me?”

Yes, baby girl, I can.

And, I did.

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