There’s a post going viral right now amongst my mom friends. One about a mother who was dealt a horrible hand of cards and lost her battle to breast cancer. It’s titled, “She crawled.” It shares this part, and I’m pretty sure this is where every single reader completely loses it and starts to cry.
“If you are a young mother and you are reading this right now, I pray that you will etch that scene into your memory. That scene of a woman struggling to crawl up the stairs to be with her children.
How many times have you sped through the bedtime routine with your children? How many times have you dreaded brushing teeth and putting pajamas on squirming (and sometimes uncooperative) bodies? How many times have you purposefully whipped through a short storybook and given quick kisses on foreheads just before turning out the lights? How many times have you dreaded the process and hurried through it, as a result? How many times have you just tried to survive through it rather than soak it in?”
Go read the whole post and then come back, I’ll wait.
Okay, did you cry? I did. I bawled. I did the “ugly cry” that’s only okay in private. And then I felt like I needed to write.
Because I’m that “young mother” who rushes through the bedtime and wants it over and done so I can have some quiet.
Not every night, but some nights, I just wish I could lay them all down, give kisses, close their doors and be done with it.
Some nights, I wish my husband would just do it all. Diaper changes, pajamas, milk, and get them all to bed. Some nights I just don’t even want to be involved.
But then most nights, our routine is pretty consistent. Brenden will be in charge of the toy pickup, and Haley and Gavin will have milk. We’ll change their diapers and get into pajamas. Brenden will get ready for bed, and Gavin will cuddle with Daddy on the sofa (until he falls asleep, sometimes it’s pretty quick), and Haley and I will retreat to her room.
In her room, we turn on her sound machine and we sit on the floor, my back up against her crib. She will sit on my lap, and lately, she brings a doll (or “princess” as we call just about all of them) so she will hold that doll or stuffed monkey or whatever it is in her tiny little hands, against her chest. She will lay her head against me, right by my heart, and put her paci in her mouth.
It’s dark. It’s quiet, well, if you ignore the sound machine. It’s just me and my daughter.
Some nights it seems to take for-e-ver for her to fall asleep. She’ll twist and turn, throw the doll down, and try to talk with me. It’s obvious her day isn’t over – she has stories to tell! But it’s those nights that I just wish she would hurry up and sleep.
From now on though, I’m going to listen. It might be 15 minutes of my time, or an hour of my time while we sit there and wait, but why rush it? Why rush her? She’s already so big, so fast, and this world certainly isn’t slowing down for her or for me.
Those moments where we sit there, without talking, her head of little blonde curls against my heart – well, they make me cry.
Many nights I have looked down at her and started to cry. I imagine her grown up. I imagine her running off to sleepovers and not even telling me goodbye. I imagine my mom, her Grandma, watching over us, maybe singing a song to her to help her drift off to sleep. I imagine what tomorrow will bring – will it be the same as today, or will she do something incredible and blow my mind?
I know I will have to eventually stop this before-bed cuddling, she will have to learn to fall asleep on her own sometime. But for now, for as long as she will let me, that will be OUR time. Whether it’s 5 minutes until she’s fast asleep, or an hour, I am not taking it for granted.
Thank you, for sharing THIS post and inspiring this post.