Softly-ing

Slice of LifeI know I’ve written about sleeplessness before, but that was my own.  You know a mother’s work is never done.  Like most mommies and daddies, I’ve helped my daughters through their own dark nights many times.

When you were little, I would rock you.  We would rock and rock and rock in the dark until your breath was slow and calm.  I would hold my breath and press you into my body, leaning deep into your crib to cushion your little self from the release.

Somehow, you grew too big to rock.  At bedtime each night, I lay beside you on the floor and “softly you” till you slept.  My fingers, barely touching your skin, traced invisible lines on your arms, your back, your forehead.  Once again, I listened for the signal in your breath before I stole one more kiss and slowly tiptoed away.

At times, bad dreams waited outside your door for their turn to visit.  You were afraid to sleep and needed me.  Side by side, we planned a better dream together.  “Where shall we go tonight?”

“Hawaii,” we agreed.

In the dark, we sat in our beach cabana, watching the dolphins jump and play in the ocean.  We’d walk down to the water’s edge and feel the sand soften beneath our toes as the waves rolled past us.  The birds talked to us as they loitered on the sand.  Shielding our eyes from the warm sun, we jealously watched the people on horseback in the distance.  “Let’s do that tomorrow,” we planned.

Other nights, we would picnic in the park.  The blanket was soft beneath us as we napped on full bellies.  I taught you how to make a chain from the clover blossoms; we wore them till they fell apart.

One time, we went to the zoo.  You were the luckiest girl there – you rode the giraffe.  You were so tall sitting atop that beautiful creature, hugging his neck.

Some nights, I just quietly held your hand.

In the morning, you come to me, smiling through your sleep-filled eyes.  You tell me about your night of dreamland adventures, familiar in such a good way.

“Good morning, my beautiful baby.  How did you sleep?”

“Mommy,” you say each day as you curl up with your blankie in my lap, stealing just a moment more.  “I got good sleep.”

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10 thoughts on “Softly-ing

  1. Oooo, brought happy memory tears to my eyes. I loved the line “Somehow you got to big to rock.” That’s what grabbed me. I remember the feeling well with my own sons and am reliving it with grandkids. Although my oldest granddaughter tells me she won’t get too big…
    Happy Writing

  2. ❤ When Ladybug feels afraid or bad-dreamish… we lay together and make up the most outlandish place we can dream of and put ourselves in it. And then list songs for a soundtrack. Unicorns, rainbows, bubbles and kitties. All to the tune of Queen's "somebody to love".

    Dreamy.

  3. I love the way you painted the nightly pictures that changed as your little one grew. I can vividly remember those nights gliding in the rocker…and carefully transitioning them into that deep crib. Too bad we can’t freeze them when they’re little. Happy dreams!

  4. Thanks for checking out my new blog, (I blog at One Sunflower too,) and I checked out yours as well. I know what you mean about “thinning out your blogosphere” – referenced in an earlier post. I hope you don’t stop posting, I find your writing refreshing and the kind that helps me contemplate the universe – that’s the kind of blog I like to keep checking out!

  5. oh crud, where did my comment go? I hope this isn’t a duplicate but if it is – well you deserve it!
    Thank you for checking out my blog, (I blog at One Sunflower too.) I checked out your blog too – and noted your comments about thinning out your blogosphere. I hope you don’t stop blogging, I find your writing refreshing and the kind that stimulates my contemplation of the universe – certainly a worthy occupation and one that needs plenty of input so I look forward to reading your blog again.

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