To my precious Baby,
I love you with every beat of my heart, every breath in my body, with everything I have. I will live for you, die for you and cherish you to the ends of the earth for all of our time together. You are my greatest gift, my pride and joy. Words cannot describe my deep, everlasting love for you.
But I have to tell you… you’re impossible!
No amount of rocking, holding, swaying, shushing or patting will get. You. To. Sleep.
Your ear-splitting cries tear my heart to shreds. I don’t want you to be unhappy, I just want you to sleep! Babies are supposed to sleep a lot, remember?!
I’ve tried it all. There was the holding-you-in-my-arms and-praying-you’d-transfer-well-to-your-crib stage, followed by the patting-your-little-bottom-until-my hands-ached stage, and of course, the swaying-and-singing-until-my voice-broke-and-my-back-collapsed stage.
I’m utterly depleted and I can’t continue like this. They say being a mother is exhausting and it’s just part of the job. But nothing prepared me for this deeply debilitating, soul-sucking fatigue that never ends.
Each night is just a repeat of the last.
Except for tonight.
Tonight things are going to change.
Because tonight, as I thought about the past seven months we’ve shared together, I realized how much you have learned.
Since we brought you home from the hospital wrapped in your white knit blanket and matching pom-pom hat, you’ve metamorphosized. And what you’ve learned makes the most brilliant butterfly look like an amateur.
You’ve learned to drink from a bottle, to make eye contact and smile. You’ve learned to track moving objects and open and close your little hands. You’ve learned to pick your head up when I laid you down on your tummy, and then to lift yourself up onto your arms! I will never forget the day you learned how to roll over on your own. It was a miracle. You learned how to use your voice to sing, babble and coo. You weren’t born with those skills! You learned to recognize the voices of your mother and father and to fear the voices and faces of strangers. Who taught you how to do that? You’ve learned to eat real foods, starting with a mushy banana and pureed avocado and graduating to drooling over a soggy rice cake clutched in your chubby little hands.
Just 7 months ago you were a helpless, mewling newborn who couldn’t do any of these things. Your world has exploded with growth and achievements that are utterly miraculous.
So that’s it, Baby. I’ve made up my mind. If you’ve learned all that, you can learn to sleep.
We’ll do what it takes and I will be here for you every step of the way, as I will always be.
With love so deep you’ll never know,