I am always hoping that Lucy will sleep all night. It's the primary focus in our night time preparations, from playtime to bath time to feeding. Our evening schedule is structured around bed...we play, we eat rice cereal, we play some more, then bath (followed immediately by at least 15 minutes of "running man"), then pj's, bottle and bed. Sometimes it's 7:30 - sometimes it's 9. Regardless - the mission is the same - to send her to dreamland as equipped as possible (bathed, new diaper, full tummy, loads of loving and hugs) to be able to sleep all night.
At this point it's hit or miss. I have learned that there is no rhyme or reason as to why she does or does not sleep all night. Just when I THINK I've learned some tricks (something soft in her hands to fall asleep holding, blanket on lower half of her body only, etc.) *BAM* she wakes up. Sometimes it's 10 pm, sometimes it's midnight...sometimes it's 3 am. And sometimes - like last night - it was not at all.
When she sleeps all night I wake up...in a panic. My internal clock goes off and if we haven't heard her all night my mind races about all the bad things that might have happened ranging from SIDS to being kidnapped. A bit extreme? Yes indeed. (C'mon, moms...I'm not the only one, right?)
I rush to her room to find find her a.) there. b.) breathing and c.) sawing logs. Now here's the weird part. At that moment, when I'm standing at her side trying to make my eyes focus on her chest to confirm a normal breathing pattern, I wish she were awake. Because being that close to her and NOT touching her or holding her feels abnormal. Watching her sleep peacefully all night in her own bed means she CAN, in fact, live without me. It's her first independent act. Sometime I linger there...just in case she wakes, so that I can swoop in and comfort her and escort her back to sleep. So I can rescue her.
It's then that I realize how much I love the night time with Lucy. I love watching her stir, listening to her sweet coo's, hearing her breathe and sigh and feeling her reach out to touch my face or hold my shoulder and snuggle up against me. I love watching her. I love smelling her and I love the quiet peace in the middle of the night where I can just rock her and soak her up. I sometimes have to MAKE myself put her back in her crib and go back to bed. When I can't seem to make myself, she comes back to the big bed with me and we lay there whispering to each other until we both fall back asleep. It's magical. And I don't ever want it to go away.
What it boils down to, I suppose, is that we love to be needed. While we are wishing away the days for the next landmark event in their lives like crawling or walking or school or driving or college or marriage or grandkids...each of those landmarks means another notch on the ladder of self sufficiency for our kids. And while I want nothing more than for us to raise an independent, free thinking, self sufficient individual - deep down and very selfishly I don't ever want to let go of being the rescuer.
I'm sure tonight as I go to bed I'll hope again that Lucy sleeps all night. But really, it won't bother me one bit if she doesn't.
P.S. - Mom, if you're reading this. You may now say "I told you so." Love you!