1/24/2006

weak spots

I've been through a lot in my life, come through most of it a pretty strong person. But tonight as I sit here typing this post I've found out that I have a weak spot. My daughter has been waking up the past few nights just when it's time for me to go to bed. I try to be really quiet so that she doesn't hear me, her door is shut, the lights are off...but still she senses my presence. The ritual of the past nights has become that I go and sit on my bed, feet firmly planted on the ground so I don't run to her too quickly. I sit for what seems like an eternity until her screams get too much for any human heart to bear. I go to her, hold her, kiss her forehead and tell her mommy loves her. Her reply every night has been, "Alice lay down with mommy?" My God, what sort of mother am I to deny this precious little being? Well I've read all the books, I've watched Dr. Phil, I know if I start letting her come sleep with me it'll be pure hell getting her to go back to her own bed. But really my bed is big enough and the thought of her little warm body pressed into my curves is really appealing. Her breath on my face, her baby soft smell permeating my nostrils...yes it sounds almost like heaven. But wait...no I cannot be weak. I lay her down, scratch that...she's clinging to me so tightly there is no possibility of laying this child down again so I hug her and put her back in her bed while I pry her tiny little fingers from around my neck, she sobs so uncontrollably as if her heart has just been ripped from her chest, yet still I leave her there - in her space. She screams my name, "mommy, mommy," and now I feel it too, my heart is being ripped apart. Usually I go back to my bed, get under the covers, and wait. Did you know that in 2 minutes you can count over a thousand sheep? I swear those 2 minutes are the longest I've ever experienced in my life. As she finally quiets down, her breathing returns to normal...and so does mine. I've wondered why all of a sudden she's decided she needs me to make it through the night, she slept so peacefully for the first two years of her life. Part of me hopes she's over it soon but if I'm honest there's a bigger part of me that secretly longs to hear that cry at night. Yes I'm selfish, I like to be needed. I know too soon she won't be clinging to me, she'll be pushing me away. So it's ok right? I can hold on to her for now. I wonder if she knows that I need her just as much.

18 Comments:

  1. Lance said...
    I am not a Mother, however that still is a great post about love and what it does to our hearts. It appears your daughters bond is awakening and opening up like a flower to spring rain showers. She is aware of your presense as her love and the awareness of love grows. I am sure there is another reason, but for me, I read the love of your daughter is planting firmly in her heart. Of course you have loved her all along, and now that she is growing into loving you back well...
    WDKY said...
    I know what you're feeling, NWC... I've always found it hard when that happens, and these days (although my kids are older) I always let them come ointo bed with me if they feel they need me.

    Personally, I'd say it's not about how much you love each other, though, it's about all of you getting enough sleep that you can function properly every day. I think you're doing the right thing, even if it feels like you aren't.
    k o w said...
    While part of me says that you should treasure the moments like this as they only come around once another part says your doing the right thing.
    Tab said...
    I have never felt so moved to almost tears after reading a blog post ~ You have a gigantic heart and your daughter is such a lucky person for that.As for her night cries, maybe right now she needs a little extra TLC and attention in the evenings.I find it helps with my little one :)
    Hang in there , you are doing your best and it will work out.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Tab
    Wenchy said...
    You are both blessed to have one another.

    Hugzzzz
    Chuck said...
    I remember those years very well. You have many years of being needed. Good moms will always be. Just in different ways. I'm going through the teen years with my daughters and they need me more than ever. We have A LOT of deep conversations around bed time...when all's quite and everything they're wrestling with comes to the surface.
    sirreene said...
    She will continue to need, love and cherish you even when she sleeps soundly throughout the night. Believe me, I know.
    Hamrose said...
    Found you through chuck's site. I think it's "night terrors" or at least that's what the Pediatrician called it. Starts around 2 years old. It's really hard to put limits where your kids are concerned, it's easy to pour yourself out like some endless golden vessel. But the truth is, we need our downtime, too. I made it a hard and fast rule no sleeping in my bed. (We could snuggle and read a book, but then off to their own beds) I would, however, lay down in their beds until they fell asleep if they were afraid. (Hence getting them out of that darn toddler bed ASAP, LOL...) Hang in there...it improves. They do smell so nice when they are freshly bathed and snuggly. I used to love feeling their breath on the side of my face.
    e.e. said...
    You make me long for children...
    Minerva said...
    My kids are now 10 and 12 and I still get occasional night visits... They do need you more as they get older too - not perhaps so much physically but certainly more emotionally...

    Minerva
    Shannon said...
    well nwc, I can relate, my little one did that to me when she was about 2 1/2, and before then nothing, I too was soo sad and felt soo bad for her when she would so desprately cry for me... I was bad and let her sleep with me, I too at the time was a single mom and younger, and wanted sleep wanted her to sleep and it made me happy, now when she was 5 and I started needing her to get out of my bed... uh that became the issue, it was hard, but I would go into her room every night, and still do, before bed and read to her... it gets easier... and I know you know that... hang in there you are not alone in this
    Just Some Gal said...
    I am there with you. I gave in last night because he was so un-consolable. I don't usually do it...in fact its been months. The toddler bed makes him staying in his bed impossible at times. He does give up and go back to his crib. That always makes me feel like the most horrid monster as I watch him from a corner and just out of his sight...To see him look so forlorn and go to his own bed...

    A part of life yes...

    A painful thing to do... Absolutely...You may as well tear my very heart from me and grind broken glass into it.

    *sigh*

    I feel only tenderness for you NWC. ((hugs))
    Lori said...
    My son was a horrible sleeper and for the longest time would creep into my bed at night. He would always be happy at bed time and say he would sleep in his own bed all night, but then I'd wake up and there he would be.

    He's almost 14 now, and though he always kisses me goodnight, he's been quite content in his own bed for many years! It will pass, I promise.
    SL said...
    Beautiful post again, NWC.
    NMAMFQLMSH said...
    Ahhh...nothing wrong with a little snuggling but I was one to march my girls right back to back. BUT just the other night my 15 year old climbed into bed with me...she is sick and I was wow this is nice.
    I see you,
    JJ
    Violet said...
    That must be hard but you're doing great. Hang in there! And know that she'll always need her mommmy.
    nukie310 said...
    I think our kids were raised by owls, because they are nocturnal
    NewYorkMoments said...
    I guess one of the hardest parts of being a parent is having to let go sometimes. I'm too chicken to try the whole thing, so kudos to you.

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