Just a little longer


This morning

As I have mentioned in previous entries, our little family seems to be caught in some endless loop where the kid stays up too late, wakes up crabby and tired, doesn't nap, stays up too late, wakes up crabby again, etc. Lather rinse repeat. Every so often, the lack of sleep catches up with her and she'll sleep for 12 hours straight. This happened on Saturday night. She rolled out of bed at around 9:00 on Sunday morning. I guess I could have woken her up earlier but . . . that just seemed like pure craziness.

So on Sunday night, P was working and the kid was wiiiiiiide awake. I, on the other hand, was tired. I climbed into bed, arranged everything thus and so, and closed my eyes. "Mama, I wanna come in your bed." Figuring that having her in my bed was better than not knowing what she was up to in other parts of the house, I pulled her into bed. This is new for her, because we never brought her into our bed when she was a baby. We felt it was better that she learn to sleep independently. So on Sunday night, her excitement was palpable. We watched TV for a while. She flailed around, kicking me in the knees a thousand times. Restless, she turned and turned like she was on a spit. Mercifully, she fell asleep eventually and then her dad carried her to her room when he got home.

Not surprisingly, I heard that little voice again as I lay in bed watching "Mystery Diagnosis" last night. "Mama, I wanna come in your bed." I reminded her that she needs to sleep in her own bed. Undeterred, she went back to her room and returned with her blue IKEA chair and positioned it next to the bed. And then she was on my pillow seconds later. I watched her brush a curled tendril out of her face and smiled as I noticed that her little hands are still a bit chubby. As are her cheeks. Soon she will enter a growth spurt and her little Buddha belly will be gone for good.

I blink. She is 5. She turns to wave as she climbs onto the school bus. It is her first day of kindergarten. She is not the type of kid to cry on her first day of school. But I am the type of mother to wail long and loud. My daughter hops on the bus and sits next to a kid she doesn't know. And starts talking to her, because she is that kind of kid.

She is 10. I have taken her to the amusement park with her friends. I hold her cotton candy while she rides the Ferris wheel with the others. I cup my hand over my eyes to shield them from the sun as I search each swaying car, looking for my baby. She sees me and waves.

She is 13. She is mad at me. I have told her that she is too young to date a boy. (My friend Jen says that his name will be Scab.) She storms off and yells "You're not my real mother!" over her shoulder. Her bedroom door slams.

She is 18. She is leaving for college today. She pulls out of our driveway much too fast and heads down the street. She thrusts her arm out of the window and gives one last wave. I want to run after her, but I don't.


My friend Erin spent the day yesterday honoring her daughter Birdie, on Birdie's first birthday. What should have been a happy occasion was surely not, because Birdie was stillborn. A full-term, beautiful baby who never took a breath. I thought of Erin and her daughter as I lay in bed with mine last night. Pie and I smiled at each other in the dark. "Do you know how much I wanted a baby?" I whispered to her.

She nodded. "Here I am."


Audreee said…
Tears are running down my face and my baby is looking at me funny. Beautiful, really beautiful.
SJ said…
That was a beautiful post, my friend. You should definitely save that one to show A when she's grown. Thank you for reminding us all how amazing, incredible, and awesomely precious our children are.
Sam said…
Beautiful words.

And that little face! She's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen!
Mary said…
No wonder I love the whole adoption process... that's so heartwarming.;)I remember people use to ask me how I could let a foster baby go and my response was at first it was so hard, our whole family would cry. But then actually it got to be so easy when I saw what it meant to the adoptive parents. Besides.... sleep is good sometimes!!;)

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