Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do You Still Love Me At 2 am?

My husband sent me this today on my email. He wrote it himself. We've been having hard nights with our children lately, especially Eric. It is funny because one of the times I got up last night I thought of exactly this. So here it goes:

"Do you still love me at 2 am?"

I think my son wonders this – seriously!

Recently he has been waking up in the middle of the night and SCREAMING! I can’t quite figure out why he is doing it – is it teeth? Is it his stuffy nose? Is it gas? Is he scared of the dark? Or is it just to see if I really love him unconditionally?

Well, I had a lot of time to think about it last night, and although there were times when I questioned my feelings for him (not really), I came to the following conclusion: I am going to cherish EVERY SINGLE moment I get to hold him and cuddle him, even if that means I need to drag myself out of bed multiple times in the middle of the night to do it.

Sooner than I can imagine, I know this magical, special time will be over, and he will be all grown up. Let’s be honest, when he is 13 years-old and he sleeping even more than he should, do you think I am going to remember how hard it was to get out of bed when he was a baby? I think not. All I will remember will be his quick, little heartbeat and his shallow little snore as he peacefully, and happily fell asleep.

There are those who say: “Don’t pick him up because it will become a habit.” I mean, heaven forbid he become addicted to the security of my loving arms and gentle kisses, right?

Give me a break!

I know we are all concerned with our health, and sleep is the one thing we all wish we had more of, but I think we all need a little paradigm shift on this one. What do we value more, a few extra minutes of unconsciousness, or the sweet, unconditional love and trust of our dear children? We won't remember if we got 8 hours or 4 hours of sleep during the night of March 2-3, 2010, but the subtle message we send to our child of, “Don’t be scared, don’t cry – I’m here and I love you,” will have a lasting effect on his/her heart and will forge a relationship of love and trust that will live forever – literally.

So... I am going to get up. I am going to pick him up. I am going to hold him and love him, and I am going to LOVE DOING IT while I still can!

11 comments:

The Marshalls said...

ohhh it almost made me cry...Wise words.
My son is a good sleeper, so I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night. But in the morning I wake up missing him so much... And there is no better way to start the day than looking at him in the morning while he smiles at me with that look on his face saying "Good morning, Mom! It is so good to see you" (note that the his expresion talks to me, Thomas won't say a word hahaha. I would like to see on this blog posts about speech development)

Liesl said...

I have always felt the same way about my kids and wake up through the nights until they outgrow the need (usually 2 yrs old)...I wouldn't have done it any different because I know that one day they will not be home at night to snuggle!

Bryan and Audrey said...

I loved your thoughts on it. It really is something that we all go through one night or another (some times many nights at once!). I do have a hard time with Tiffany waking up at night or not sleeping everything I know she can sleep. I LOVE my sleep, it's what defines my day, and when she wakes up at night, it totally throws me off. It seemed easier when she was little just because I knew it was part of it. But now that I know she can sleep through the night, I have a harder time when she doesn't. Especially because now she WILL not go back to sleep in her crib. Once she's up at night, she needs to come sleep with me, which means Bryan has to go to the couch for the rest of the night (we still don't have a king size bed! hehe). Also, at night, she only wants me, because of the many months Bryan wasn't around for the night shift with her. She will cry until I pick her up, and she needs to know I'm there so she can go back to sleep. I guess I'm just too much of a perfectionist, and when something doesn't go the way it should, it bothers me. But I don't mind when every once in a while I get to watch her sleep and know that I'm there for her when she needs me. Your post made me think about enjoying these moments more, as long as they don't become something that happens too much! :)

Cacah said...

Nossa, ateh chorei... Especialmente porque faz 5 looongas noites que naum durmo mais de 4 hs por noite, e nem consigo faze-lo durante o dia, e mesmo pensando que todo o trabalho que tive para ensinar a Melissa a dormir a noite inteira pode ter sido em vao, a levo pra minha cama, e deito com ela, enquanto escrevo em suas costas, e vejo seus olhinhos olhando pra mim, as vezes ateh rindo, e penso em o quanto a amo, e o quanto ela deve estar sofrendo com a dorzinha de barriga ou com o nariz entupido. I dont care! Eu realmente a amo mais que tudo, e nem uma noite mais dormida vai me fazer (e sei que nem ao Guigo) pensar em deixa-la chorando sem meu abraco.

Mara said...

Lindo post...
Não é comum o Sam acordar à noite... Mas quando isso acontece, eu percebo que ele só quer ver "se eu estou lá"... Ele só se levanta no berço, e quando vê que "eu estou lá", ele sorri e volta a dormir imediatamente... É algo maravilhoso saber que só a minha presença (não preciso sequer falar com ele ou tocá-lo)é capaz de trazer-lhe segurança e conforto... ele só precisa saber que "estou lá"...

Amy said...

I loved that! Leah wakes up almost every night screaming. It is so hard, but I love to love my kids. They need to know we're here for them.

Barbara said...

Yeap...Isabelle used to sleep thru the night and now she is waking up constantly...and Bia is sometimes sleeping better than Izzy...but I use ALine's words as my words...I will cherish every moment, because especially when I look at my older one, I think she is so grown up and it breaks my heart that I haven't written down or cherished even more moments with her...I won't remember any of this in the long run, except if I let them cry it out! So I don't...they know I will hold and kiss and be there for them.... :)

Eloise said...

you got it right on, Aline! i have done a lot of reading of child's sleeping, and it seems like they go thru phases in which they wake up in the middle of the night (separation anxiety), and the best you can do is to respond, so they feel secure and the phase will pass sooner.
I know it's hard to lose precious sleep, but i feel the same way. Some day too soon they'll be all grown up, so i might as well enjoy them all i can, even if it's at 3 am!!!

Trevor, Kika, Olivia said...

i am pretty sure i posted a comment here... where did it go???

Aline Carson said...

Did you accidently delete it??? I don't know what happened, I didn't even see it!!!! I promise it wasn't me ;)

Greg and Sherry said...

Christopher, this is exactly what Dad & I did with you and your siblings--not because we knew what we were doing, but because that's what the Spirit told us to do. We got a lot of flack from people about how we were spoiling our children. But we attribute this to one of the reasons you kids grew up so happy, secure & confident and with none of the fears and hangups many kids had.