June 17, 2010

Fortunate at 4 a.m.

Last Friday, I had my gall bladder removed. Which, took me off of Mama-duty for a good 24-48 hrs. Which, of course, coincided with Zane's developmentally appropriate peak in separation anxiety. While he loved his time with "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!", he obviously was a bit shaken by my sudden inability to care for him in the ways he is used to. Also? I am pretty sure he's teething again.

As a result, we've been experiencing some sleepless nights again around these parts. Mr. Spicy has been a trooper in handling most of the middle-of-the-night-omg-why-won't-you-go-back-to-sleep wakings, but last night, as I heard Zane scream each time he tried to lay him back down, I sensed it was time for me to step in. I rocked my little boy as he laid on my chest, singing lullabies and lulling him back to sleep....or so I thought. Each time I stood up and began to move him to his crib, he wrapped his arms around my neck and shook his head "no....no". Finally, I caved and asked if he'd like to come to bed with us. He burrowed his face into my shoulder and nodded emphatically.

Bringing him into bed with us is always a gamble. If he's really sick or in pain he'll settle in quickly and nod off, but otherwise he usually decides it is family party time and demonstrates his unique gift for death-defying acrobatic maneuvers that are sure to get our adrenaline pumping.

Last night, he began by trying to negotiate for "num nums" which I denied. He whimpered a bit, complained to his daddy, and then eventually threw himself cross-ways against my chest, burying his nose in my arm pit as I stroked his back, and he drifted off to sleep.

As I lay there, pinned beneath my sweaty, heavy, sweet, boy, I contemplated the situation. It was 4:30 a.m., and I had been up since 3. I was expecting to feel exasperation, frustration, failure. Instead, I realized what I felt in that moment was overwhelming gratitude, and it surprised me. I was tired, in pain, and lying with a toddler's nose wedged into my armpit at a crazy hour, and what I felt most was gratitude.

I felt thankful that the reason I was awake, the weight upon my chest, was this incredible boy, MY little boy. A boy I longed for for so very long. I was filled with the beauty of this boy, MY boy, who simply wanted ME, his mother - and wanted to be so close to me that he fell asleep with his nose greedily inhaling the scent of me, his mama. Grateful that it was my scent that comforted him, my heartbeat accompanying his dreams.

"I am so incredibly unbelievably fortunate", I thought.

Later, I was able to slowly roll him over to the space between my husband and I. Our family, all in bed together, my husband and son sleeping. Breathtaking.

It is the moments like this, the ones that too often pass in a blink and are forgotten, moments in which I feel so fully a mother, and so fully in love with this boy, and the family he has made of us, these moments I want to hold onto, be able to conjure up on those days when I feel like I am failing everyone, or those days when it all seems to be going so very very fast....

I am so very fortunate. So very very fortunate.


Anonymous said...

Oh this is so beautiful Duffy. I had fallen out of reading your blog long ago and am glad to have found it again. Thank you. <3 Penney

Rachael McClair said...

I had a similar experience with Adrian when he was teething molars. I was up all night with him because he couldn't lay down without his mouth throbbing- I was so exhausted, sitting up-right in the glider-rocker, but found myself profoundly grateful that I had the opportunity to sit with Adrian in his pain. I couldn't really fix it- I'd done everything I could- but at the very least he didn't have to be alone in it. It was one of the deepest spiritual experiences of my life.