...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.