These are the Moments I Would Lose to CIO

Dear Daughter,

Your head rests against my collarbone, soft milky breath synced up with mine, and skittering across my chest. I could pull you out of the wrap and lay you down in your own space. But instead I’m letting you sleep on me for a while for no other reason than “just because”. For no other reason than the fact that I cannot get back the moments that just passed us by in the hour that we rocked you to sleep.

Usually now at ten and a half months you go down to sleep quickly. You nurse nurse nurse and then you roll away and throw your arms above your head and tuck your little chin down into your chubby chest. Tonight you were too excited from a day spent outside crawling in the grass and digging your hands into the dirt and sand as I dug out the garden plots.

So I tucked you into the wrap that we seldom ever use anymore. The snuggly one from when you were a newborn. And we danced around the room in the dark with the ceiling fan making a quiet breeze. I made the “shh” sound to the rhythm that we discovered when you were tiny, and you kicked your little feet and waved your hand to the beat while you tried to eat the heart charm on my necklace. Your head smelled of sunshine, trees and fresh air, and your little voice chattered away. I whispered to you that I loved you, and I held your hand in mine. Your head settled heavy against my collarbone and in moments you were fast asleep.

These are the moments that I would miss if I had you cry alone instead of letting you settle head to heart. Sometimes we nurse, sometimes we simply lay there as I pat your back, and tonight we danced together until your happy kicking feet and waving hand stopped bouncing to the rhythm and you rested your head heavy against my collarbone and succumbed to peaceful sleep. Just an hour of my time. Sixty minutes of our lives. An hour spent in closeness rather than an hour spent apart.

Time is merciless enough in its rush forwards, and moments are so transient and fleeting. I do not need to rush this along.  Tonight you slept when you were ready. One day you’ll be ready to fall asleep on your own and sleep through the night.

I am okay with this for as long as you need it, and I will miss it for long after you no longer have this need.

<3 Mama

8 thoughts on “These are the Moments I Would Lose to CIO

  1. I could have written that exact letter to my little guy! I hear your feelings loud and clear and identify with them! :0)

  2. Oh yes yes yes. I can still count the number of times in almost 22 months that I have not been the one to put my son to bed, and I wonder what I missed on each of those nights. Such precious time, truly.

  3. Beautiful! You posted this on my son’s 1 year old birthday! This year has flown by and been filled with so many of these precious moments!

  4. Thank you for this. It brought tears to my eyes. Some days are really tough trying to get my bubba to sleep, but on the bright side I don’t miss out on any oppotunity to be with her, and I am lucky enough to get sleepy snuggles instead of her sleeping in her cot every time :)

  5. You are an amazing writer (toned down from wanting to say, “my hero”!) 😉 Honestly, you have a lovely and eloquent way of describing those precious daily moments. I love that you find joy and wonder in those fleeting times with your babies… I do too! And I can say that I’ve survived and thrived (though not in every moment) a very long-challenging sleeper who finally, at 3.5 years old is just now becoming more independent in his sleep. And on his own terms. And peacefully. I don’t regret a moment and wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep in the world!

    Thanks for being a voice of reason and love. I have shared your site with my friends who are new moms and get many thankful responses.

    Kindly, jessica

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