36 minutes.


I had errands to run. The alterations shop, the camera shop, the baby clothes store.

I collapsed on the chair for a minute—just one minute—to rest before mustering the energy to change his diaper, change his clothes, brush my teeth, find my keys, and an array of other tasks that seemingly add to the regular twenty minutes it takes for us to get out the door.

He didn’t seem to mind my rest, not one bit. He grabbed two toy trains off the floor and started rolling them up and down my right leg, which was dangling off the side of the chair.

“Choo choo!”

I sat there quietly, just watching him, soaking up every molecule that makes him up. His long eyelashes, his dirty blonde hair, his scabby knees. He wore a blue t-shirt that matched his eye color, and his naptime pajama bottoms didn’t match.

They never do.

Up and down my legs, he rolled the trains. Around my hip to my arm and up and down the inside of my elbow. The room was silent aside from the sound of him breathing. He breathes louder than I do, just like his dad.

I started to get creative with my body, making tunnels and bridges with my legs and ankles. I moved my limbs around the chair as he smiled with each new challenge. He rolled the trains up my neck, over my face, and across the top of my head while I remained completely still.

And right there in my living room on a Monday afternoon I felt nothing but love—the kind of love that swallows you up and takes your breath away because it is so full, so raw, so whole, so perfect.

It’s the kind of love that only a mother can know.

And God of course.

I could have fallen asleep like that, to the sound of toddler breaths and the feeling of toy trains running up and down my arms. I didn’t, but I could have.

We stayed just like that for exactly 36 minutes.

I can run errands tomorrow.

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11 Responses to 36 minutes.

  1. Brikena says:

    this was the cutest post ever. EVER!

    xo, Brikena
    Brikena┬┤s last blog post ..Our Story – The Proposal

  2. annette says:

    I love this! I am living in the moment more and am so much happier!! We can’t be so hard on ourselves when things don’t get done, because the memories are happening NOW! Thanks for sharing. Namaste.

  3. Jen says:

    Enjoy those free massages with trains and cars while they last – our kiddos want a quarter for doing that now!

  4. larissa says:

    just, love.
    larissa┬┤s last blog post ..E + L and our california sunset

  5. Everett is the cutest little boy! And your photo journalling is one of the reasons I follow your blog (as well as your beautiful writing of course).

    I agree completely with Annette – we ARE so hard on ourselves! When we don’t get as much done in one day as we thought or things take longer than expected. Sometimes we need to just slow down and enjoy the ‘now’ – this is something I’m trying to learn myself.

    And lol at Jen!

    I hope you’re having a lovely week Ashlee and hey take some time out, you deserve it! ­čÖé
    Sarah-Louise B.┬┤s last blog post ..Homemade Potato Bread

  6. Love this post, Ashlee.
    Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com┬┤s last blog post ..What To Do When You Have 14 Hours to Spare in an Airport

  7. Callie says:

    New favourite post. So beautiful.. Thank you for sharing such a precious moment. Xx

  8. Aunt Rebekah and Uncle Kevin says:

    Congratulations! Best wishes for a healthy, happy baby. If you’re hoping to have a girl and it happens to be a boy that’s okay – it means you were meant to raise “young men”. God bless all 4 of you!

  9. Kaylan says:

    Soooo love this post Ashlee! Beautiful.
    Kaylan┬┤s last blog post ..Iceland: the first hours

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