My daughter started sleeping in her own room when she was around a year old. To be honest, it broke my heart. I loved having her in our bed; waking up next to her warm little form was one of the greatest delights of my life. Nursing a baby in the quiet of the night may be tiring, but it’s also some of the tenderest moments you get to share with your child. I would lay there stroking her soft head, listening to her daddy breathe slowly and evenly beside us in our bed, feeling the cat turn circles at the foot of the bed and smiling at the exaggerated sigh randomly issuing from the dreaming dog on the floor. Sometimes I’d watch dawn creep into the bedroom and slide across the walls, warming the beams on the ceiling and changing Lily’s face subtly as she happily nursed, hands stroking my face or feet pushing into my squishy, post pregnancy belly. Then there were the times I would swim up from sleep and roll over to see my daughter snuggled up in the crook of Mark’s arm, her thumb in her mouth and one of his big hands resting firmly on her chest. Occasionally they’d be comically arranged in the exact same posture, both with an arm thrown up over their heads, one knee bent outward and twin expressions gracing their perfect faces. I loved these mornings. They made up for the sleepless nights before we discovered what was causing the colicky symptoms and she would scream for hours before finally falling asleep, exhausted and red. These mornings made up for so much that we “suffer” when we become new parents.
Last night Mark mentioned that he needed to be up before the sun got to high on one of our exterior walls so he could deal with a bee problem. Lily must have heard him and was babbling awake in her room by 6am. She sounded happy at first and we lay there listening to her giggles through the intercom. When she started calling for her daddy, Mark went up and collected her, struggling through her twisting and turning and hollering at him in protest over getting a dry diaper. He then dumped her into bed with me and I pulled up the covers so she could scramble happily beneath. There she turned on her side to face me, nose to nose and stroked my face, babbling her toddler speak. She lay for a while in my arms as I rested, quietly sucking her thumb and twirling her free hand above her. Then she sat up and helped me locate my eyes, nose, teeth, etc. Good thing… I’d been wondering where they were all night! She pointed at my eyebrow and made her questioning noise. “Eyebrow” I told her. “Braaa?” she asked. “Eyebrow.” We went on like this for a while and she still didn’t get it, but she seemed happy to be working on it. She got down from the bed and chased the kitty into the bathtub and then ran back to report to me that the kitty was in the “bass.” She reminded me what it was to awake with a child. She made my morning and made my day full of joy. I can’t wait until this new baby is born so I can wake to that warm sweet neck and that perfect smile again. I am so lucky. I am so blessed.