Friday, October 12, 2012

Reaching in the Dark

So after some advice from a friend yesterday, I came to the conclusion that not everything in life is a battle. I have always struggled with the concept of whether what a child needs or wants today is not always what is the best for them in the long run. I think that having this farsighted vision makes me feel like a better mom. But maybe sometimes, today is simply a day we are given to love our babies like crazy. Maybe sometimes, we need to be less practical, less "by the books" and more just "mommy".

So last night, after making Maya go to bed in her own bed. I went to bed with a plan. Not a plan to fix her, to train her, or to "beat her" at this bedtime war. No, I went to bed with a plan simply to love her, however she wanted me to, however she needed me to.

Sure enough at 1 AM I heard her little voice calling out to me. "Mommy?" " Mooooommmmy???" Already things were different. The pressure and frustration I usually feel when she calls my name were gone. Instead of viewing this as a battle I was losing or a task I was failing, I saw it for what it was a beautiful baby girl who wanted to be held.  How could I have been so blind? I went to her room and saw her there, beautiful blond hair messy from sleep, eyes big and happy to see me. "I was trying to sleep mommy but I woked up", she said with a smile.

The freedom I felt from being able to follow my instincts without guilt was amazing. I scooped her up and kissed her and carried into my bed. I tucked her in, told her I loved her and she looked with me with her sleepy little eyes and said "Thank you mommy, I  just want you close".

It took all I had to hide my tears from her. All these nights that I thought I was winning, all these struggles of doing what was right. They left  me fighting my heart, my motherly instincts, and they left her reaching in the dark for a mommy that was busy being right.

She went right back to sleep last night, she's actually still sleeping up there now, a tiny girl in a big fluffy bed. Through the night she would wake up, eyes still closed,  and I would feel a tiny little hand grasping in the air until it touched my face. I would hear a tiny almost imperceptible sigh of relief as she drifted back to sleep. A sigh I will carry in my heart forever, that for her, the most beautiful three year old in the world, I was enough.

Judge me if you must.  I may be failing by your standards  Honestly, up until yesterday, this would be failing by my own. But maybe I just don't care. Will it be harder for her later because of this? Maybe. Am I hindering her ability to sleep alone? Perhaps. But I guess we will cross those bridges when we come to them.   For now, my little girl believes that I care more about her than my rules and that is what matters to me.

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