Sleep Monster

I realized that I never published this...written weeks ago, but still partially relevant now. Recently at night when I wake up naturally by body waits for the soft mumblings, the cries that escalate as the minutes tick by from quiet murmurs into come-and-pick-me-up-now wails... It is almost as if I can sense when Sam is about to stir, as if I am gearing up for the earful that is about to wind its way from his bedroom into ours. Our champion sleeper has turned  into a pretty-good-sleeper-most-of-the-time. He is more aware of the world, on the cusp of crawling, about to cut his first tooth and really loves his mom and his dad and just wants to hang out with us. At three in the morning. That is his witching hour, when sleep is boring and lying on the couch kicking and throwing his arms around and inadvertently hitting one of his half-asleep parents in the face is much more entertaining.

It still amazes me that I have to get out of bed and rescue the little man. That our lives have come to this. Not that it is bad, just extremely different from the autonomy and independence that my life once held. Our lives are really not our own. We get up at any hour if the howling is loud enough and work hard to calm a crying baby. We have tried the cry-it-out technique. But the sound of Sam gagging on his own tears and his little chest gasping through phlemy breaths is heart-wrenching. Maybe we are soft, but lying on the couch and being near him seems to comfort him. And that is rewarding. In the moments in the dark when I wish only to be back in my own bed under the warm covers, I try to remember that these episodes are fleeting. That at some point Sam won't need me as often and later he won't want me to snuggle with him. For now, Dad and I are his world and what a privilege it is to occupy such an important and inspirational position.