Last night was one for the books. My sweet little girl decided it would be much more fun to play with me in the middle of the night than sleep sweetly in her crib. I must admit it was dreamy to cuddle with her in the stillness of a peaceful night as she lay sleepily on my lap. The perfect precious moments passed with the time and 2 hours later I was not having quite the same experience. It was midnight and we were both exhausted, but my stubborn little girl just would not give into sleep. She dozed in and out but could never commit to falling into a peaceful slumber. Finally at 1 a.m. I was at my wits end and she was fighting the inevitable sleep that was lurking around the corner. It was so close but she would not allow it to overtake her. Finally I decided to just put her in her crib until she surrendered to it. There were screams and shouts and our poor neighbors probably experienced some of the pain the little one was feeling. Twenty minutes later she gave in and lay her weary head down. Sleep always wins.
It was bliss as I cuddled up to my almost one year old. Her quiet steady breaths in the peace of the night were calming. In those tender moments I felt so close to my little baby. Within hours the peace of the night turned to frustration as our need for rest came on strong and hard. We both felt anxious and exhausted.
This morning I woke up and this experience became a memory. I was no longer in that moment. I was no longer feeling the joy or sorrow of the previous night. It had come and it had gone. I will look back on this night and as time passes I will probably remember rocking my baby as she let me hold her close. The frustration of the moment will blur and maybe be forgotten. Someday she will not need me in the middle of the night, and the inconveniences that follow will be gone. Another thing will be gone as well: the joy of holding a child and rocking back and forth in the peace only night can bring.
As a mother I watch phases of childhood come and go. There are difficulties and blessings with each phase. It truly does not last for long. While the sorrows pass the joys that are associated with them pass as well. It is a gift to be able to experience both.