The other night, you lost your mind.
It had been a successful "go-down" around bedtime. We swaddled you, chatted with you, turned on the fan and kissed you good-night. You were quiet for awhile and then started squawking as expected. We came back in after a few minutes and you grinned up at us. We fed you a bit more and you drifted off to sleep. Dad transferred you into your bassinet and we walked out of the room giving each other silent high-fives, excited that tonight it had just taken two times to get you down (most nights take three and we won't mention the nights that take more than that).
You'd already been asleep for an hour when we came into the room to get ready for bed. Normally, you're pretty good about staying asleep through noise, but this night Dad sneezed and that woke you. And then, baby girl, you sobbed.
I don't know if you were disoriented? Or confused? Or exhausted? Or hungry? Or simply angry? But you cried crocodile tears for a good ten minutes as Dad and I tried to comfort you. Nothing we tried was working. Your round face was beet red and your little fists were clenched in frustration as you screamed.
We tried feeding you, changing you, walking with you, whispering to you and bouncing with you. Finally, I held you tightly against my chest and silently rocked you. After awhile, your wailing turned to whimpering and your breathing slowed. My nightgown was damp with tears and your head was damp with sweat. As we both know, it's tough work to cry un-controllably. In my arms, you drifted back to sleep.
And then, when the chaos had ended, I cried.
I love you so much, little one. My love is always there. Always. But in the moments when you're hurting, when you're screaming, I tend to feel it most acutely. It's a physical ache. A tangled ball of love in the pit of my stomach. A love so large and unmeasurable it makes me cry.
I was overwhelmed the other night, not because of your screaming or your tears, but because of how relatively easy it had been to sooth you. Your troubles these days are so small. You need to be warm, fed, cuddled and loved. That's it. Right now, your problems can always be solved with a tight hug from Mama.
As tears rolled down my cheeks, Dad looked at me like "Whaaaat?" and I couldn't even explain why I was crying. I couldn't put into words that as I held you, I had seen the whole future. I had seen the next sixty plus years of being your mom and I had realized that there were going to be so many instances where you were hurting and I won't be able to just fix it with a hug. There are going to be problems where my love alone cannot turn your world right-side up again. That terrifies me.
Oh my sweet girl, I have signed us up for quite the adventure. We're on it. We're living it. This wild ride where loud noises happen at night and there are problems we cannot fix within minutes. I cannot control what comes next, but I can promise you that I'm always here. Always. I'm your Mama, and I'll do my very best to help make it better. No matter what happens you can come to me and cry to me and together, we will figure it out.
yours forever, Mama.