The gift

11:00.

1:30.

4:00.

Every night for two weeks, Little Bear has woken up three times a night, screaming, shrieking, crying over and over for Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.

He’s only recently started calling my name, using his favorite words “Daddy” and “Doggie” up til now. So it’s especially heartbreaking when he starts paging me in the dark of night. I run in there, of course, mommy-senses on high alert, and hold him for a few minutes as he thuds back to sleep, instantly, magically, against my breast. (Ahem. You know what I mean.) He cuddles, safe and warm, as he naps, happy at last to be with his healthy mommy who can come running in to him at night.

I know it isn’t good sleeptime hygiene. I know that we’ve set up this situation where I’m awakened throughout the night. We’ve been working on it — and in fact even letting him cry after I put him back down if he wakes up, or putting him down not-quite-asleep, which is some trick when he falls asleep instantly when I hold him. The first night, he cried for an hour. Then a half hour. The next night, ten minutes. As much as I hate to admit it, it does work.

Still, if he’s awakened by my footsteps in the hall, or his brother’s coughing, or possibly just a night terror in his own consciousness, I run in there, pick him up, hold him, and let him know that I am there.

Because I am here.

I am lucky enough to be here, and to be his Mommy, 17 months after being diagnosed with Stage IIIB cancer.

I want Bear to know that he is safe, and his Mommy is here, and I love him.

And it is a gift and a privilege to be able to comfort him in the night.

11 Responses to The gift

  1. Donna4k says:

    I don’t know what is more precious, mommy loves or baby loves… love him up as much as you can this is just a little stage of his life to treasure… awww, you know….

  2. Amanda says:

    Sweet thanks giving.

  3. JoC says:

    Yes, night time snuggles. Sleep. The warm fuzzies of a sleepy baby/toddler. Celebrating and savouring your ability to let him know you are here when needed. We are glad you are too!

  4. Joie says:

    We are not subscribers to proper sleeping in this house, either. You are right. What matters is that he gets to feel secure in your arms and that you get to love on him.

  5. You?

    Are my kind of mommy, WM.

    All my love to you–

    xoxo CGF

  6. marty says:

    If he needs you to hold him, I see nothing wrong with that. He’s your baby.

    I would do the same thing even without the scare that I wouldn’t be here.

  7. Vanessa says:

    My daughter seems to go through this every once ina while too – normally a great, sound, all-through-the-night sleeper, but every few months, she goes on a spurt of waking up through the night. My theory – if he wants you, go to him – they’re only little once.

  8. kgirl says:

    I will always, always go into my girls when they cry, regardless of the ‘bad habits’ I may be forming, because, like you say, every day is a gift, and most certainly, our children are too. I will never say no to an opportunity to snuggle those warm, tiny bodies.

  9. Don’t worry about the sleeptime hygiene. He’ll work through it and it’ll pass, a phase. Hold him while you can, they grow up so fast.

    I’m so glad you’re still here. Completely in awe of your strength and perseverance. Continued good health and success to you now and always.

  10. Ally says:

    Yes, it truly is a gift to be able to comfort your children in the middle of the night. Sometimes I don’t see it as a gift exactly at the time, but in the morning as I remember their sweet sleepiness against my body, I know it without a doubt.

    I’m so thankful that you’re here, Susan, and able to be such an amazing mom to your boys.

  11. Ally says:

    Yes, it truly is a gift to be able to comfort your children in the middle of the night. Sometimes I don’t see it as a gift exactly at the time, but in the morning as I remember their sweet sleepiness against my body, I know it without a doubt.

    I’m so thankful that you’re here, Susan, and able to be such an amazing mom to your boys.

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