20 October 2009

Variations on the Word "Sleep"

The way these things change day to day. One night she sleeps so long, the next we have had a different day and her nighttime need is different. Five hours, or two hour intervals with long feeds between. But her need is real.

I recall that with each of them a big step forward in daytime learning has signalled an increased need for me in the wee small hours. It takes me a few days of cursing the lack of sleep to recall this, that it is normal and OK and that I have lived through it before.

Perhaps the feeling I might die from lack of sleep has something else to teach me, something more character building that the stoic insistance on continuing to meet the needs as long as I am physically able, and often beyond what I thought was possible for me. Perhaps. I might be able to see it if I wasn't so tired!

Also one of my favorite poems ("I would like to sleep/with you, to enter/your sleep as its smooth dark wave/slides over my head...I would like to be the air/that inhabits you for a moment/only. I would like to be that unnoticed/& that necessary." - Margaret Atwood).

I do love to watch her sleeping. The rise and fall of her little chest and the translucent lilac of her eyelids, twitching. A balled up fist of pudgy pink fingers and a fuzz of hair. She is perfect. And I feel so close to her in the darkness.

This parenting is a contradiction and an impossible joy. Being needed this intensely terrifies me, I don't allow such closeness easily. Perhaps I'm the last person on Earth likely to fall into attachment parenting. But here I am.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely post. I agree, those perfect moments, when everyone else is alseep, are to be treasured.


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