There’s nothing sweeter than when you go in to your crying baby and pick him up and he instantly melts against you, peacefully asleep. All he needed was you. Your warmth, your closeness, your mommy-ness. And maybe the binky you retrieved from the floor and popped back into his mouth.
But it becomes a bit less sweet, less endearing, less heartwarming, when it happens at midnight after you have been asleep for maybe thirty minutes (because you knew this was going to happen, so of course you couldn’t fall asleep). And even less sweet when, the instant his relaxed little self touches his mattress, he is awake and crying lustily. And it happens again. And again.
It’s not as if you’re a rookie at this “laying the baby down” thing. No, you know to ease him down slow and gentle on a night like this. Keep him close to you as long as possible. Make him think he’s still in your arms. Keep your hand under him even when he’s lying in his crib, the other hand on his tummy. You know how it works.
But tonight, it’s not working.
And then you become so nervous about the next laydown attempt that you sit in the rocking chair, his foot pressed quite firmly against your rebelling bladder, for a full thirty minutes as he slumbers contentedly in a position that requires you to crick your neck to the side, bunch your left shoulder up, hold your right forearm perfectly still, unsupported, at ninety degrees, with your leg crossed to support his little bum.
It’s at times like these that your only recourse is prayer. It begins with petition for compassion, love, tenderness, patience. It moves to petition for the little one in your arms, for his safety, his future friends, his salvation, his leadership, his good and bad qualities. And from there maybe you fall asleep, or half asleep, for a bit. That’s an “unspoken” prayer, answered.
This is a good reminder for me to catalogue these kind of nights as “remember the sweet hours of cuddling your baby, because they won’t last forever.”