There were notebooks, kept at a mother's bedside table.
You smell like graham crackers as you nuzzle into the space between my chin and my shoulder. Here we sit, and rock, until you feel safe enough to surrender into your baby sleep - safe enough to return to your cozy crib adorned with several soft "lovies" to see you through the hard times of the night.
I do not know what has awaken you from your slumber, but whatever it was, your "lovies" couldn't conquer it. And so, you called to me - rather, grew obviously agitated in your cries - to rescue you, if only for a short time, and rock you back to sleep.
For almost five months, you slept through the night with only occasional wakeful moments which you would handle alone as your daddy and I listened to you put yourself back to sleep. We would then creep into your room and make sure you were covered and had a "lovie" close by. Proudly, we would tip toe the few steps into our room and then whisper about what a good baby you were. Then, we would fall asleep thinking about how lucky we felt.
You began waking in the wee hours of the night around 8 months. After three nights in a row of rushing to your bedside, I grew lazy and brought you to our bed when you awoke, saying to myself that "this must be a phase and it will soon pass." You slept well between daddy and I, with warm milk only a mere turn of the head away, but I did not. After a while, we decided that you should go back in your own crib again and we probably needed to stop nighttime feedings since you hadn't needed them the entire 5 months prior to now.
We weaned you back to your cozy flannel crib sheet and those soft "lovies" who had been waiting patiently all along.
Then, we crossed our fingers.
You put up a struggle - pulling at our sympathetic hearts with each whimper and then the even sadder calming down period after a lengthy cry. We felt awful, but you always forgave us by the time morning rolled around. Things were starting to get easier.
Now we seem to have reached a compromise - you will need to know about them when you are older anyway. You go to sleep in you own little crib with "lovies" galore. Sometimes you fuss, sometimes you don't. When you protest bedtime, we tell you we love you, rock you, sing to you and try to make your transition into dreamland a comfortable one.
We feel good about this and hope that you do too. When you call to us late at night, we are there for you. Knowing that we are what you need because you fall asleep instantly in our arms, makes us feel important, loved; just as you feel safe and loved.
So when you cry in the middle of the night and I stumble blindly to your crib to comfort you, we are both receiving something that we need. We are reassured that the world is okay, we are not alone and everything is as it should be.
I sit and I rock, I know you've fallen asleep because your breathing has changed and you've grown heavier against my chest. I do not want to let go - I want to sit here and smell your baby smell forever. I want to stroke your silky hair and hum you another lullaby.
You are fast, fast asleep now and it is time to lay you down but part of me wishes you'd wake up and need me for a little while longer.
I leave you cozily tucked in with your "lovies" and return to my bed feeling lucky.
Happy 11th Birthday, Baby Boy