Last night, Sam was having a hard time sleeping. He's working on two teeth at the same time, and the poor little guy is miserable. At the same time, he's learning how to stand up without holding on to anything, and starting to communicate with us. It's no wonder he's not getting the rest he needs.
Normally, nobody wants to be the one to go in and try to convince a baby to sleep at midnight, but last night, I wanted more than anything to hold that sweet, hurting little boy in my arms and comfort him. I rocked him for a little while, and he was fast asleep. When I stood up, I couldn't bring myself to put him down. As I looked down at his peaceful sleeping face, I was overcome with emotion. My heart welled up with compassion and love and sorrow like never before. I realized that my tiny baby was turning into a little boy, and that I'd missed most of his first year. I just couldn't convince myself to put him in his crib, when it felt like the only place he should be was with me.
I peeked out the bedroom door, and motioned to Christopher to come in and see. "Look at him," I said. "He's a little boy, not a baby. When did this happen?"
"It happens fast," he replied. "Come back to bed, I want to show you something."
He went back into our bedroom, and I spent a few more minutes with my little Sam. "I'm sorry," I told him, "I'm so sorry." A tear slid down my cheek and landed on his lion pajamas.
From his deep sleep, he lifted up his little hand, and put it over my heart, and then he let out a little sigh. In that moment, I felt like I heard his little voice saying, "It's ok, Mom."
I went back to my bedroom to get some sleep, and Christopher was there waiting for me with videos of me playing with the boys over the last year. He reassured me that I'd been there, even though I don't feel like I was, and I hardly remember being there. I think maybe, just maybe, we're going to make it.