How many posts involve this word? I’m guessing too many. I think when you take the leap and become a parent…wait…no offense to the dads out there reading it but from where I stand, the dad over here has no problem sleeping…when you take the leap, this is one of the things that you tearfully say good-bye to. When they are infants, they demand things around the clock. I used to think that was the hardest time. Having to function at 3:00 in the morning. Then the toddler stage comes and there is both the not wanting to fall asleep alone and the waking up in the middle of the night. When they cry out for you in the middle of the night, you shoot up wondering: sick? scared? Please, God, don’t let it be hungry or thirsty because I don’t want to do juice and Goldfish crackers at 3:00am. Then the school-age comes and you find them at the end of your bed because they have a stomach ache, they are cold, they are worried about a test or a game or a friend. Then the teen stage comes and while your can sleep through a natural disaster, you are awake all night worrying about him, his friends, his girlfriend, his grades, or his health.
Sleep…it escapes me. It comes knocking on my door at about 2:30pm. It comes again when I am cramped into a toddler bed at 8:00pm and then it leaves me for the rest of the night leaving me with a mind racing.
I know what you are thinking. Tough love. Gia needs to fall asleep on her own. It will help her sleep through the night. I know. Believe me. I know. If there was one thing I was firm on when the older three were toddlers it was going to bed, napping and maybe I got lucky but they stayed in their beds. But here is the thing:
When Nico and the twins were little, I didn’t know what the future held. I only knew the then and there and that was, be firm about sleeping and bed-time. But guess what, friends, I am now raising a toddler and teen and I see what is in store for the future and it’s rough. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always rough but on any given day, I am dealing with back-talk, sassiness, attitude, eye-rolls, anger, “nothing is fair”, “why do you hate me?”, “I need you/I hate you”, emotions and drama from the tweens and the teen. It is no picnic or walk in the park.
So when Gia looks at me after I read her a story at night and she puts her hand on my cheek and asks, “Mommy, will you lay wif me?” Yes! Yes, I will lay with her. Then when her little self curls up against me and she whispers, “Mommy, I love you so much up to the sky,” I melt. And when she turns and rubs her little nose against my cheek and says, “Don’t go to sleep yet, Mommy,” I hug her close because it is not always going to be this way. I want to soak up all of it and store it in the part of my memory that won’t ever forget.
My other kids love me. I know they do. And they are good kids. I know this is just a part of growing up that they pull away and try to find their own voices (and my children seem to be choosing the loudest, sassiest of all voices) but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. It doesn’t make me miss their old voices of whispers of “I love you” and “Stay wif me mommy” any less. I have seen the future and I know this time is fleeting. As much as I want to, I can’t stop it. I can’t freeze time.
So, yes…this is another post about my lack of sleep but this one is different. This one is me saying that I am okay with doing without it if it means I can hang on a little longer. Can’t I just please hang on a little longer?
What about you? Sleeping these days?
Pouring my heart out with Shell today: