October 11, 2012

Rocking My Toddler to Sleep

I always knew that I would rock my babies to sleep. There were thousands of things I questioned before Evie's arrival, but rocking her to sleep was never one of them. My momma rocked my brother and me and her momma rocked her and my momma's little granny rocked my grandma to sleep. I've always thought that above all other things that we let define how we mother that the simple act of rocking your child to sleep is the very picture of motherhood. 

I happily rocked Evie to sleep every night for the first ten months of her life. Then as time went on it became clear that she was no longer interested in falling asleep in her momma's arms. There were far more interesting things to do, games to play, a daddy to be tackled and tickles to be had; by twelve months it seemed she was done. It was one of those heartbreaking moments in motherhood, that first night that I didn't rock my baby. But time went on and although I keenly missed it, we replaced that time with other special moments: reading a book in my lap, snuggling with Daddy and dance parties before bed. 

Until tonight. 

Evie's room has become a messy cluttered space. We spend so much time in the Summer running back and forth from the lake that our glider had become a dumping ground for half unpacked bags, a pack of swim diapers we didn't use, a plastic bag of bottles that I haven't stored, toys, books and a few stray socks. I promised myself that while Chris was in Amsterdam I would use my spare time (haha) to clean out and organize Evie's nursery. Tonight I took everything off of her rocker and started organizing it. 

And after bath and pajamas and our dance party there the glider sat, empty and inviting with only a blanket my Grandma crocheted for Evie draped over the back. I said what the heck and sat down. To my surprise two seconds later Evie toddled over and held up her arms to be picked up. So I did. I turned off the lamp and turned on her music and projector. She turned into me, and I started to rock. Back and forth, back and forth we rocked, in a rhythm well remembered, while I whispered sweet nothings to my beautiful baby in my arms. Before I knew it she was asleep. Her breath was quiet on my chest, her head was heavy on my arm, her eyelashes lay long against her cheeks and the fabric of my shirt was fisted in her hand like she was six months old again. My heart swelled, and the tears came. Tears of joy and contentment ran down my face unchecked. And I thought again, oh my heart

Oh, how I have missed this time with my daughter. It appears that my well has not run dry. No my friends, no. My daughter only had to remind me: my cup runneth over. 

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