In July of 2009, I had my third daughter, Megan. She blended into the family without much ado. A sweet, tiny, soft baby we nicknamed Squishy. Though adding nursing, how to handle three young girls and adjusting to even less sleep, was tough, it seemed as if she belonged here, knew she was third and knew that her time with Mommy was on a limited basis.

She never complained. She was my best eater, my best sleeper and my most laid back child.

But as the year has progressed and she has come into her own, I've started to feel great guilt that I never have any real time alone with her. I'll take her to the store, but then I'm shopping, I'll take her out to dinner with friends, but then friends are be there. Never do I feel have more than a few hours alone with her to play and watch and marvel.

So when it came time to sign my older two girls up for school, it dawned on me that one day a week, I would have her for 5 hours, just us, uninterrupted and was very excited! Finally, I can get to know my daughter!

The day is here. Friday. With my older two safely dropped off at pre- school, dual "Bye Mom"'s echoing in my ears, and no distractions in sight, I get to watch, wonder, laugh with and play with my Megan.

I start by just following her around. Watching her little turned out duck feet half walk, half run her way through the empty house. She checks out Katie's room, finally able to throw Katie's colors freely without a resounding "Megs - NOOO!" scaring her, tears streaming into Mommy's arms. I watch as she flings them as far as she can, laughing and squealing in pure messiness delight. I stand, arms crossed, leaning against the door jamb, reveling in how big she is and a little melancholy that I seemed to have missed her growing so fast.

She comes running out and heads to Sarah's room. She gets in, stops, turns around and looks at me with a grin saying "Yea, man, let's do some damage!" and immediately heads to Sarah's coveted tool sets. The hammer that is always yanked from her hand, inducing screams and cries and pleas for help, happily bangs on the bench with no one to stop her. I sit on the floor and drink in the open mouth smile that lights up her whole face!

We turn to the princess CD player and spend the next 30 minutes dancing together to Bipity Bopity Boop. I watch my daughter and notice, probably for the first time since her birth, that she has my lips, her father's eyes and her sister's nose. She dances like me, walks like Sarah and squeals like Katie used to. She is defiantly ours and we are blessed to have her.

I realize, as we are getting her ready to lay down for her nap, that she is an individual. Not simply another child in our family to love and care for. But a separate human being with unique qualities that I can not wait to discover. In the stress, loudness and chaos that is our family, I think it is easy to let her get lost.

I lay her down, watch her drowsy chocolate brown eyes drift to close, and listen to her suck on her bottle with happy abandon. I thank the Lord above for Friday's.

Because, Megan, on Friday's, I get to know you.

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1. Katie Perera

United States

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Scarborough, Canada

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Fresno, CA, United States



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