Postscript to Three Months and Eight Days

I’ve brought the babe back into the bed at night and I’m letting him nap on me again. I think I thought that at three months he was going to cross some magic line, or we were going to, and once on the other side I was supposed to turn into a mother with a child who lies down for a morning and afternoon hour and a half long nap every day, who sleeps six hours in a row without getting hungry, who I can walk away from for a few hours. And maybe I could be that mother, and he could be that child, if we had to be. But we don’t have to be. There are no other siblings tugging at my hand and I don’t have to juggle a work schedule yet and the truth is I love it when he naps on me and I sit there under the fan reading a book. That is a lovely lovely thing.

I think I’ve been trying to be more independent than I actually want to be. That’s always what I sought…to be unfettered, strong, strong willed. But with him, now, I’m more relaxed when he’s close to me. I need some breaks for sure, but turns out not as many as I thought, and not as long as I thought. The tension for the last few weeks was building as I kept trying to create that distance, trying to turn him over to my mother for long and longer stretches, but it didn’t work for either of us. I’m even a little embarrassed writing this now…scared to be judged…a mother who’s too soft, too lenient, too attached.

But I feel better these last few days than I have in weeks.

Our nights now this rhythmic weaving in and out of deep and light sleep that are leaving me calm and rested. I don’t care about the trucks squealing by in the middle of the night; I don’t wake up to see if he’s breathing, resting my hand, a feather, on his chest. The night simply passes; not in hours of uninterrupted sleep but something else, hazy and mellow and sweet. I’m amazed that it’s working but it is.

And he has woken from his nap just now, beside me this time, not with a startled cry but smiling. He’s looking at the fan and pooping. I’m showered though not dressed. The day is early still and I know this afternoon could have a hot, stressful bout of hard crying because there’s always that chance, but for now I’m happy to have him sit on my lap while I type this last line. I thought I needed more space, but for now, his feet pushing my laptop away is what’s making me happy.

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