Sunday, June 25, 2006

If I Could Only Wrap My Arms and Legs

...around childhood, I surely would.

I'm sure all of us who are parents have some little "guilty pleasure" that we indulge in with our kids--those little things that we do, or allow, for a little bit longer in childhood than is really needed--those things that keep our children close to our hearts and tucked safely near us even if its just for now.

Well, my confession would have to be that my children have rarely just gone straight to bed without me. For years, I would lay with Dakotah; at first reading to her, and then later, she would read to me. And I would stay until she fell asleep.

Even now, at almost 13, I still enjoy visiting with her just before she goes to sleep...its often our most intimate time of the day--when secrets are shared, and guards are let down. And I'm happy to say that she still welcomes me whenever I go for a visit.

For Paige who is 9, I have to admit that she has never gone to bed on her own--not once--to the great dismay of people who need to have an opinion about it, lol.

We just love, love, love that cuddle time at night, when she crawls into our arms, and drifts off to sleep until Wayne carries her off to her bed for the night. She's so sweet and calm, and looks right to us for a conversation. She never complains or fights bedtime, and its a system that works quite well for us.

Well...for the past two or three weeks, Paige has taken to getting her blanket and going to bed all by herself!! She just goes! Not a peep out of her, nothing.

I suppose (yes, I know)that its time that she does that...she is too long for me to even lift anymore...she's all arms and legs and everything gets all tangled up when she is in that 'deadweight' sleep zone.

But, it sure tugs at the heartstrings...to see her make that choice for independence. I guess its like when a baby decides to wean himself...sometimes Mom is just not ready, even though she was kind of hoping for it.

For those of us who are parents of kids with special needs, I think its even more intense--as we often fret and worry over milestones that take a while to show up. We play lots of "what if" and "when will this ever happen" games.

But, just like having a typical kid...as I sit at the computer tonight because I had a bit more free time, and empty arms tonight, my advice is don't rush it...

Cherish the now, and what is happening today. Even if you're frustrated because you can't get your little one off the bottle, or out of diapers, or off to sleep when you want, trust me---all too soon it will be over, and you'll be looking back at it with a little smile, and a bit of an ache in your heart that the days have gone by so fast.

6 comments:

mum2brady said...

Oh Betsy - it's so bittersweet sometimes to see our kids grow up... I admit that I have loved having the extra time to savor each of Brady's stages (except the hitting one LOL) and I'm always a little sad under my joy and celebration to see him move on to bigger and better and more independent things. Hugs for your empty arms, and cheers for Miss Paige and her new found independence :)

Tara Marie said...

Yes,,,what wonderful, sage advise. Life is too short to begin with to rush through moments.

My arms are still full, of Emma Sage at night, all night long, and I know that the day will come that she too will leave the nest as her siblings did before her [on their own timeline].

Miss Paige is growing up.....what a beautiful thing,,,but I know how bittersweet it is for you, her Momma.

Have you ever read the book 'The Continiumn Concept'? If you haven't and would like to borrow it, I'd glady mail it to you. I read it when I was 18 and it actually formed much of who I am as a nurturer and Mother.

So have you gotten off your Strawberry high? lol!! or are you turning red from all those delectable treats?

Tara Marie said...

Of coarse the comments don't let you spell check, and did I ever tell you that I still carry a dictionary in my pocketbook, because I'm not a great speller!

It is Continuum, and here is an except from a review that is what I agree the most with [as anything, there are always biases and parts of a book that I don't agree with, but I take from writting what works and applies to me.
Simple statements she makes are well stated and ring true: The intellect is not always our only, or our best, guide. There is an evolutionary dance, informed by experience, between expectation and design. A spirit of competition is not always appropriate. We need to make the assumption of innate sociality. Happiness should be a normal condition rather than a goal. Parents do not own children. Children, though less physically powerful, are no less human and have no fewer rights than adults; consequently, children should be treated with respect and dignity.

Anyway....your post reminded me so much of the beautiful observations from this book that I wanted to share with you how both 'the book' and your post have touched me.

Peace, TM

Camille said...

Betsy, sometimes I think that I will still sing Emma to sleep when she is 25... But you are right. I used to rock Emma until she slept and one day she just climbed in her bed, like Paige, on her own doing. For now I still lay beside her, singing the very same song night after night, until she drifts into her sleepy world.
Miss Paige is amazing and Miss Paige sure is helping me ease into our next step. By the way, tonight I managed to attach the "sats" machine onto Emma's big toe and covered everything with a big sock. Hopefully she sleeps the whole night through...
Love, Camille

Nicole said...

You're right Bets and I needed to hear tonight as I'm so wishing for that ache lately as Joe's been gone for two weeks. LOL

Annette said...

So so true Betsy. Ryan still naps in the afternoon and I have to lie down with him to get him to sleep. Honestly, I'm not ready for him to give up his nap. He snuggles in with me with his one hand on my face... it's the most wonderful thing in the world and I am going to be so sad when he's done with naptime. I cherish every one right now.