My darling daughters,
It’s 2030. I should be well into a quiet evening of relaxing in front of the TV with my knitting, but Béatrice has categorically been refusing to sleep for the past hour and a half. You are teething and are struggling tonight. I cringe with my shoulders almost reaching my ear lobes as I walk into your room to try to soothe you.
It has been a few months since you have needed my help to fall asleep and although I tense up at the idea of relinquishing my evening “me time” (that alone time I get between you girls going to sleep and your Dad arriving from work), you need me right now, so in I go.
I pick you up in the semi-darkness of your room, the only light coming from the neon light above the oven in the kitchen. I swaddle you and we sit to rock in the rocking chair. You are attracted to the light in the kitchen and it takes you a few minutes to settle down.
Your head slowly comes to a rest on my shoulder and you wrap your little hands around my neck and shoulders, gently tugging at my hair that I’ve finally let down after it being tied all day. You twitch and squirm against my chest until you find a position suitable for you and eventually, I can feel your little body slowly relaxing and letting go. I rub your back gently while kissing your hair and your neck. Rina is occasionally snoring, gently, in her bed next to us, the only noise accompanying us as we keep on rocking.
Even though you’ve grown since the last time I rocked you to sleep, you still “fit” in my arms and I find myself wishing you will do so for the rest of your life. Know that there is always a place in my arms for you, when you are in need of cuddles or soothing. As your breathing slows down, I feel my shoulders dropping back to a more normal position. I am reminded that you needed help to calm down, but so did I, apparently. Cuddles are always good to calm down. Thank you for reminding me of the good parts of motherhood. Yes, it is EXTREMELY demanding, most of the time, but moments like this make up for it by the tenfold.
As I put Béa back into bed, Rina wakes up crying because “I need to go poo, Mama!” and Béatrice starts crying all over again. I guess we’ll need one more round of cuddles. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday and Ben will be home and maybe (just maybe) I’ll be able to get some time to myself then. In the meantime, “The moon is high, the sea is deep. They rock and rock, and rock, to sleep”*
*From The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. One of the many Boynton books I’ve memorized by heart, but also, a favourite of ours.