Friday, February 18, 2011

Let her go

As my fingers lightly touch the keyboard and a yawn overwhelms me at this wee hour of the morning, she sleeps ever so soundly in the midst of my queen size bed. She has slept there, nearly every night of her life. She starts the night tucked in her own bed, but by 11pm-12am-1am, she quietly stumbles from her room to mine, without so much as a whimper. She secures her footing on the edge of the bed frame and pulls herself up to cozy up in the warmth of the bed. By this time, Daddy has usually already moved from the Mommy/Daddy bed to Jonah's bed, to sleep with him the rest of the night, so Lily's presence is welcome and comforting to me. She surely isn't much of a snuggler, but having her there puts her and I both at ease. I am often kicked or rolled on top of, but with a few adjustments and slight nudge's here and there, we are comfortable and sleep fairly well until morning.

Lily will be two next month. And I, just like many parents out there wonder, where has the time gone?

The adventures her and I have been through are tough, unexplainable, overwhelming, and rewarding. It's been a journey. Some moments I wouldn't mind forgetting, but most are too precious to forget.

Lately, I have been torn. My heart is stretching and twisting, and my rational brain is trying to ease the debacle that resides within me.

Is it time? Time to let her go? Time to let her become a little girl, and no longer be my helpless little baby?

When she comes to my bed in the middle of the night, I never, ever turn her away. I don't gently walk her back to her room. I don't tell her to "go back to bed". I don't get angry that she wants to be with me, because I too, want to be with her. But I am wondering, is MY co-dependency on HER, holding her back? Could she sleep, longer, better, more soundly in her own bed? Am I holding her back from growing and thriving like a nearly 2 year old girl should be?

Recently, I have allowed and forced myself to leave the room when she is falling asleep at nap time. Our prior ritual has been quite precise for a long time now. She is in a toddler bed, so she gets into bed on her own, she chooses a few books for me to read, I turn on her CD player, and I sing her a few songs. Then I sit in the rocking chair on the opposite side of the room from her, and wait until she falls asleep before I leave. But I could see, in these last few weeks, that she is ready to be able to do it herself. And the transition was nothing short of simple for her as I started leaving the room at naptime. And I have since found out that my husband, my mother, and my mother-in-law all leave the room while she is awake at naptime. So I knew, it was ME and not HER that needed that reassurance and comfort. She needs to grow up, and I need to let her.

It's still tough now, about a week in. And I cried the first naptime that she didn't "NEED" me. It still pains me a bit because this is it for us. We aren't having any more children. My last baby. My baby girl who needed me SO much at one time, is growing up. And I am sure this is just the start of many many many times I just need to learn to let her go.


Hyacynth said...

I struggle with this, too, letting them be their ages but also trying to help them learn the skills they need to live as well-adjusted people. It's tough. We mamas are raising ourselves just as much as we're raising these little people.
Such sweet pictures, btw. :)

Megryansmom said...

I wish I could say it gets easier.

Megan said...

Goodness, I know what you mean. I welcome that middle of the night bed time crawl. I love that he needs to snuggle into my arms and feel me there. And yes, it might be my codependency, but you know? That's fine. He goes to sleep and smiles and feels love.