Bedtime Rituals

From about 8 months until a few months ago, Abbie was a piece of cake to put down. When I was nursing, I would nurse her and she would go right to sleep. And when I quit nursing at 17 months, she dropped to one nap, so she was exhausted at bedtime and went to sleep no problem at 6:30 (or earlier!). But the last few months she has finally demanded a routine from us. Books! Rocking! More Books! So many things.

It’s easiest for Tom (he gets away with two books, then “snuggles or night night”!), so he is usually in charge of bedtime. But some nights he has meetings, so the privilege goes to me. And let me tell you, Abbie delights is demanding MORE from her mama. Endless books. Then we must bounce on the yoga ball (I used this every day when she was a newborn and showed it to her a few months ago and now it is a MUST DO every night), and if I slow down for some reason she starts bouncing up and down to remind me of my job. Then, I try to put her down but she will have none of it. So I rock her in the rocking chair, and she clings to me as I rock her over and over and over again.

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When we moved into this house five years ago, the room next to ours was painted for a little girl. We kept it that way, but I kept the door shut most of the time because it hurt to look in it. About six months into fertility treatments, I started going in there to pray. I would sit on the floor while the light shone through the window and I would pray and pray and plead for life to be growing in me. Cycle after cycle, those prayers were unanswered, but I kept going in there to believe that they one day would be.

And then when we got our first positive pregnancy tests, I brought them into the room and laid them on the windowsill to ensure that they were indeed positive. And when that pregnancy ended, I brought the tests in to see if the line was fading so we could move on.

Those days were hard. Those prayers were painful. The room was so empty.

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And so when Abbie clings to me as I try to put her down, I pick her back up and rock her. And I breathe in the miracle of this life that almost wasn’t. Endless rocking in the glider is a pure bliss┬ácompared to the rocking I did on my knees when I begged and cried and pleaded for a child. This room is full of LIFE now, life that wants me and needs me and loves her mama.

And oh how I love this little ball of life and light.

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