While I drink my coffee and tap away on the keyboard, I hear her murmurs. She talks to herself about night-lights and Elmo and tiny cookies while she lolls in her downy, white crib.

It’s 6:30am and I have an hour of work under my belt. I need another (hour of work– not a baby). I pray for another.

My life’s work squeezed and monkey-wrenched around my daughter’s sleep schedule. Did I really used to relax under the covers and dream about life? I’m trying to remember the mornings of eating breakfast in bed, reading the newspaper and getting crumbs beneath the pillows. But really, I want to remember what it felt like to plow through a chapter or a proposal, only getting up from my desk for the bathroom or to run to the corner deli.

Her murmurs are my reminders…

In between frantic gulps of caffeine and emails and Word documents, I compare my past life to this life. The studio in SoHo, the long quiet mornings, the days structured around me. Life wasn’t as sweet for sure, but it was all mine.

The murmurs shift to pleas–she needs her morning milk. I need to fill her sippy cup and start our day. I think of my childhood best friend down South, newly pregnant with her first child. Does she know how it will all change? I wonder. Is she ready to say goodbye… and then hello? I’m going to tell her to enjoy her quiet mornings now because soon, they’ll be filled with soft demands, warm milk and murmurs.