These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Want to know the biggest struggle with being a parent? Self Doubt!
That little voice that speaks up whenever you are following through on some parental decision that questions every move you make (“how can you do that to him? What kind of a parent would do something like that?” – god, I hate that little voice!!)
Last night was a struggle that we’ve been going through now for some time.
Here’s the issue. You are a bit of a tosser and turner when you sleep. When I say “a bit”, I may be being a tad too generous in that description. I think you run marathons in your sleep. You spin in a pinwheel circle throughout the course of the nights. I have woken on numerous occasions to various body parts thrust into my face, neck and back – usually forcefully.
How do I know this?
Because you sleep with us. I know, I know – BAD PARENTS! BAD, BAD, BAD!!!
I’ve heard it all – believe me!
I just can’t help it.
This is how it transpires – you always fall asleep in our bed and we move you to the crib. Around about midnight, you shift positions – realize that we aren’t there – and wake up screaming. We wait in our beds, holding our breath and trying not to change positions (I am regularly amazed at how – the minute I can’t move, my bladder decides it’s full!) and wait to see if you’ll go back to bed.
I can tell you are my son because you have a stubborn streak in you that is fantastic. You will never stop screaming and it rips both Daddy and I apart inside trying to resist going to you.
Needless to say, we always lose the battle and bring you to our bed to sleep with us. From there on in, you sleep through the night but in your very mobile fashion with kicking, hitting and the occasional self sacrificing body toss towards the edge of the bed that scares the crap out of me because it usually means that you hurtle your small body over mine in the middle of the night and I wake up with you teetering on my midsection.
Last night, we went the longest we have ever gone trying to help you stay in your crib, but my heart was breaking as I heard you screaming:
MaMA! MaaMaaaaaMaaaaMaaaaaaMaaa!!! DAAA-DAAA! Daaa-Daaa-Da-Daaaa-DAAAA! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-MAAAAAAAAA! MAAAAA! Maa-Maaaa!
(pause to catch breath)
DAAAAAAAAAAA-DAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DAAAA!!! DAAAAAAAAAAA-DAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
Every scream tore at my heart. Your Daddy and I held each others hands as we lay awake listening to your heartbreaking cries. We each had weak points where we wanted to go to you and the other would encourage us to wait just a little longer. We both cracked simultaneously and I ran to your crib. I gathered you up while you breathed frantically to catch your breath. It took quite some time to calm you down.
I brought you to our bed again and you reached one little hand in each direction so that you could touch each of us.
My heart melted, angel. The truth is – SO WHAT if you sleep with us? I know it won’t last forever and as long as your father and I are okay with it, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.
There are many other countries throughout the world where family beds are the norm.
The most important thing that I want you to know is that your Mommy and Daddy are THERE for you, honey. No matter what time of night – no matter what the circumstances. You can count on us.
Besides, right now – I think we all want the same thing:
We love you, Jack! I want you to know that more than anything!