You are finally asleep in a wrap against my chest. It is 5:28AM, and for the past two hours something has been bothering you.
Most of your days are spent without much in the way of crying. You communicate clearly and I know when you need a diaper change, to be held, to be nursed, to move, to have your legs bicycled to let go of gas, or to be bounced for a burp.
Sometimes, though, something bothers you and I cannot find the cause. I step through each of the things that could be bothering you. I hold you skin to skin. I rub your body gently to see if there is an itch hidden somewhere. I talk to you and show you things which temporarily distract you. I read from a book, as my voice sometimes soothes you when nothing else does. You did not want to comfort nurse, you did not want to dance, you did not want to watch the ceiling fan, to be naked, to be bathed. You did not want to sit upright, you did not want to lay down, you did not want to be skin to skin, you did not want to be swaddled, you did not want a fuzzy blanket, and you did not want to lay side by side and nurse between cotton sheets skin to skin. You did not want the light off, but were not much happier with it on. You soothed momentarily with each thing that I did before letting me know that it was not the answer.
I cannot always make it better. This does not mean that you need me less. Some say that it makes no difference if you cry in my arms or in your crib once I’ve made sure that everything is “okay” and that you’re fed , dry and warm.
I disagree. I can hold you while you cry. I can whisper. I can keep trying things to find the answer. I can show you now in your infancy what I will show you for the rest of your life: Comfort is always free and there are never any strings attached. I love you when you’re happy, and I love you when you’re screaming in my ear. I am not afraid to hold you when you cry. I cannot always make it better, but I will always try to be there for you.