Sometimes the littlest moments in parenthood can just unwind you.

Last night I was rocking Frankie to sleep in her dark room, sound machine locked on “gentle rain,” when the other Little Person opened the door walked into the room.

“Mama,” he said, as he walked over to the rocking chair. (His little curls bounce when he walks. I melt.)

And he puts his little hand on mine, smiles sweetly, and just stands and watches us. He didn’t ask for anything or rumble around in search of a toy, or hop on the rocking horse in the corner of the room, which is his absolute FAVORITE.

He just wanted to be near me.

My chest actually hurt from the feeling of my heart swelling.

I crawled into bed later in the night and cried when I told my husband what happened. It wasn’t anything momentous—not a “first” of any kind—but it just sort of knocked the wind out of me, the sweetness of it all. And it made me feel, viscerally, how very true that trite saying is: “It all goes by so fast.”

The truth is, these little moments are all around us, every day, and so often slip by unnoticed.

The moment you walk into the baby’s room and she is waiting for you, all gummy smiles, arms outstretched and ready to be picked up.

The moment you wipe food from his face for the tenth time that day and he pauses to look up and smile.

That moment when, at the end of the day, you put one kid on each leg on your lap and squeeze them as tightly as possible while you watch cartoons, breathing in that little kid/baby scent that’s part dirt, part grilled cheese and part bubble bath.

From now on, I’m going to try my best to notice those times.

Here’s to the Little Moments.