My 16 months old daughter has always been a poor night sleeper. I have had some really cranky moments since I haven’t slept through the night for 2 years (yes, it started when she was still in my belly!). This only gets exacerbated when she catches a cold, which is happening all the time now because of the winter/daycare combination.
We placed a rocking chair next to her crib and there were countless nights Ethan or I sat there rocking her for long periods of time; we took turns so we both could get some sleep.
This past weekend, she caught a bad cold with a fever and the rocking chair had once again become our default sleeping spot. Last night, after woken up by her crying during my deepest sleep, I got up, prepared a bottle, picked her up and sat rocking in the dark while my brain was wishing to go back to bed and finish that dream.
As she finished the bottle and seemed to calm down, I wiped her snots, felt her head to make sure the fever wasn’t coming back, I lay her down in her crib and started walking toward my bed. That’s when she started shrieking, so loud I worried she’d wake up her brother. I came back and put my hand on her back and she immediately stopped crying. I tried to walk away again, and the same thing happened again.
By this time, I had already forgotten the theme of my unfinished dream, my eyes adjusted and I could see the moonlight filtered through the blinds. There was only one thing left to do: I sat on that rocking chair next to her crib, one hand placed on her back.
She seemed to sense that I sat down – she turned around and looked at me. I saw a sense of relief in her eyes. I slouched into the chair thinking it was going to be a long night here, and just then, she gently grabbed my hand, separated my fingers to make sure I held her tiny hand and looked at me as if to say: mom, I really need you right now, stay with me…
I looked back and my heart suddenly felt full. I held her hand and gently stroked the back of her palm. She turned to the other side, getting ready to sleep, then she turned back again. Still holding my hand, she looked into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back reassuring her. Just like that, in a second, she fell into a deep sleep, breathing heavily and had let go of my hand.
You know the moments in life you feel like you are doing exactly what you are meant to do? That you are living your purpose and all the hard work is worth it? This was one of those moments for me! As I watched her angelic face in sound sleep, I sat in that rocking chair for a while longer – I didn’t care to finish that silly dream of mine anyway…