MOMMYHOOD: Dear Geneviève
(Geneviève running away from her 2 year photo shoot.)
I heard Geneviève cry. It was the middle of the night. Naturally, I was not sleeping. I don’t take part in that activity much on a regular basis. She is two years old, and no, she does not sleep through the night on a regular basis. It’s not her thing. Never has been. I know that’s supposedly one of the “signs” of being a “good mom,” you know, the organized, consistent, always prepared kind of mom. You see these moms everywhere, at the park always prepared with organic-no-sugar-vegan snacks (homemade, of course), cute bandaids for possible knee scrapes, a change of clothes, enough wipes to clean a litter of babies and a craft store worthy assortment of crayons and paper.
Clearly, I’m not one of those. My 2 year old still doesn’t sleep through the night consistently. Let’s face it, Geneviève and I have had a whole other life in the middle of the night. It’s like we’ve lived in an alternative universe. I have spent many nights on the living room carpet, still in my ratty stinky jeans, no blanket, no pillow, just fussy baby next to me and getting up between cries to edit pictures. She has had many a midnight snacks sometimes with a happy mom beside her and sometimes with a crying mom beside her. I have watched her dance her little heart out in the dark bopping her head side to side, watched HGTV at 2am and let’s not forgot Legos in the dark. It can be a whole lot of
Even though Geneviève has come a LONG way, you can imagine why I feel a twinge of anxiety when I hear her cry in the middle of the night. But…
blessings come wrapped in
You see, this night was different. I was feeling pretty discouraged. You know that kind of discouragement makes your steps slow. The kind where dreams seem so far out of reach that it’s hard to remember what they sounded like in your heart. I was tired. I was feeling like a lousy mom, huffing and puffing around and not fully engaged with my girls as I wanted to be.
But then there was Geneviève’s cry. I picked her up in the dark and wrapped her in her pooh blanket and began to rock her. Her hair was a sweaty mess and her forehead sticky as I kissed it. I began to pray for her to the sound of the loud AC and the creaky rocker. I held her tight and she tugged at my hand. In less than a minute she was back asleep, but I stayed there, soaking in the warmth of her soft body. Her room was so dark, I couldn’t see her round cheeks. I stopped rocking her to at least hear her breathing.
That’s all I needed.
With every breath she breathed life back into me. The gentle rhythm of her breathing against my chest was like balm to my soul. Every little breath she took made my heart feel a little fuller each time. I cried. I kissed her as my hot tears fell on her face.
I kissed her again.