There was a time, approximately one year, I spent more time awake at night than asleep. Where we rushed upstairs every ten minutes post-baby-bedtime to address tears and recriminations. Where I thought it just would never ever get better and against my better judgment began purchasing books upon books on baby sleep and felt worse than ever about my parenting skills which these books informed me were intrinsically tied with my child’s sleep and the lack thereof. I finally resigned myself to a lifetime of wakings imagining my college-age son demanding a hug at 3am and told myself you know what? That’s okay. And then– it stopped. One day like a light switch, he turned off at 7:30pm and woke up exactly twelve hours later. A fluke we first thought. But no, it’s continued this way with nary an interruption for the past four months. Until last night.
Last night at 4am we heard shrieks and instead of nudging the other we both sprang up and raced to his crib. He clung to me, his heart racing and then, after examining my face in the still of the night, kissed me and rested his head on my shoulder, the tension leaving his body until he was limp in my arms, fast asleep once more.
And I found as I rested my cheek against his fine baby hair and felt his arms wrapped around my neck, his head heavy on my shoulder– I couldn’t put him back down. He’s almost halfway to two. Less a baby with each passing day. Man I’m going to miss him. The sleep deprivation. The toys that stick under my feet. The food tossed to the other end of the room. I’m going to miss it all. My cousin commented on what a good sleeper my son was while we were staying with him this past weekend. I had to smile as I realized he is a good sleeper. Now. Sometimes its hard to imagine it was any other way.
This is a note to my future self, should I be blessed enough to find myself with another little one someday, who also requires extensive night wakings and rockings, that this too shall pass, and that one day I’ll have a night like last night where I’m awake at 4am actually feeling blessed for night wakings such as these.