I have started to watch you sleep again.
I didn’t realise I was doing it, but it’s gradually dawned on me. Things have changed, again.
No longer am I disturbed from a book, or my notes, or the washing
No longer does the sound of you crying out for “mama” echo through the monitor
Because I am sat there, with you, watching you as you rouse, blurry eyed, smiling, reaching for me.
It feels like we’ve come full circle, but this time I am choosing to sit next to you as nap.
I recall the times when I had to hold you, here in our darkened room, as you cat napped your 45 minutes.
In those days I longed to be able to put you down, to walk away, to read, to write, to wash. People said, “She’ll get there. She’ll sleep alone. You’ll get your time back”,
And I did.
I have cooked and eaten hot meals, savouring each bite, not having to share. I have taken long showered, languishing in the warm water. I have watched films, lists collated over the past 2 years. And I have cleaned the house.
I have reveled in two hours to myself
My only time all day
But here I am again, shunning the books, ditching the writing pad, leaving the dishes congealing in the sink.
But I choose this
I watch you sleep again, because I know these days are numbered. This time is coming to a close. Soon there will be no more naps. What do I choose to cherish, to take with me on our continuing journey, from this treasured time of afternoon rest?
Not the book time
Not the writing space
Not the clean kitchen
But the sight and sound of your sleep.
The peace on your face, the sweaty hair, the drool on chin.
You still breathe from your tummy, like a baby. Your whole body using the breath to make you grow, make you strong.
It is this I now choose during those quiet times. I feel like I didn’t take any notice or pay close enough attention in those early days, when I wanted escape, wanted to be needed less, wanted to have my time.
I try now to capture your naps, be close to you as you dream, as I know one day very soon it will just stop.
And there will no more naps….just…like…that…
So now my time is your time again. My choosing. You are my time.
We have come full circle.
I have started to watch you sleep again