For two years and 10 months, Daddy and I have had a third party in our room, one who has occupied our marital bed and quite literally, come in between us way too often – YOU. There were many times when we had lamented your overwhelming presence of arms and legs (punches and kicks) and unwanted affections (rolling over us and cuddling just too close for comfort)… but when the day finally came when you moved out of our bed, both our hearts were broken, spirit somewhat crushed and the bed felt much too big and empty.
A day after your dad and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, you moved to your own bedroom. Your mother here, was rewarded for this surrender with eyes swollen from non-stop crying that first night.
A friend had said to me that God had given me an extra dose of motherly love, seeing that I had absolutely no inclination towards having children, and that could be why I feel so extremely attached to mine. I like that thought a lot – as once again, it shows the will of God will not take us where the grace of God will not follow.
Upon further reflection, my conclusion is that I am so strongly bonded to you because right from Day 1, I’ve had you by my side. Even in the hospital, I requested for you to be with me whenever possible. And at home, you slept by our side, first in your little day-cot, then right in between us. Honestly, it just makes good sense since I was breastfeeding you through the night. We had tried to move you to your own room once, but the helper couldn’t wake up despite your night-time shrieking, and I had to scramble out of bed, to and from your bedroom. Needless to say, I insisted you move right back next to me.
And when we moved to stay at your daddy’s old home, all three of us occupied one bedroom which of course meant you were right there beside us. Oh, those horrid six months when you woke up every hourly… but as with all things, those too, passed. And soon, we got our own pad. We had plans to let you sleep in your own room but you were just a little one-year-old and we didn’t have the heart to have you sleeping by yourself in a separate room. You were so attached to me then (and now still, and for a long, long time to come, I hope!) probably because we didn’t have a helper, and I was a full-time SAHM. It was just you and I.
For close to three years, you have been the start and end of our everyday – you greet us each new day with your many expressions, and you close each night off for us just by being there… (not to mention the unwelcome reminder of your presence through the long nights.)
Now, here we are. I’m typing this in the comfort of my own room, with personal space all round me. No flailing arms and legs, no tossing and turning, murmurs or whimpering… and I can say with certainty that I welcome this space as much as I’m looking forward to when you come back to our bed on weekends for family movie nights and such.
Truth is, and I want you to know this, it really broke our hearts that first night. Even your dad was saddened but of course, his tears weren’t flowing like mine were. It is so much more than just sending you to a separate room. We bade our farewell to night time tickles and cuddles, reading storybooks and telling you one story after another… yes, of course we can still do those in your bed, but it really isn’t the same as having you right beside us as we whisper into your ear or hold you close. Most of all, we miss looking at you in the middle of the night, or having late night cuddles. I used to hold on to your hand or a leg as I fall asleep.
A week or two before the big move, you had randomly stated: “I want to sleep in my bedroom.” I was shocked. Of course, we had been priming you for it. In our discussions, we had thought to move you end of the year (when you turn three), or sometime mid-next year, depending on when we felt you were ready. Since you raised it up, I took it that you were. That night, we shifted your mattress to your bedroom and you happily settled down there, thinking it was some big game that you had won. I was shattered. Just like the breastfeeding chapter with your sis (“Wean Me Gently“), I felt robbed of that final night I should have had with you. I pictured your father arriving home from work to find me sobbing my heart out over a bottle of wine. Already, as I was preparing you for bed that night, I was thinking what wine there was in the fridge.
Well, an hour later, after your dad was home, all of us had to shift your things back into our bedroom. You were miserable and so pitiful, wanting to sleep with us. Obviously we took you back, since your bedroom wasn’t set up yet. That lifted my spirits immediately, but it got the ball rolling.
Now, you have your own bedroom, which we worked really hard to make into something special and beautiful for you and Emma. You are growing up so, so fast, “little boy” as Daddy always calls you. I am grateful to God that you are. But sometimes, I just wish time could slow down a little so I could enjoy more of you. This is the second time this year I have cried like that over you – the first was your first day of school. I’m beginning to see that this is only the start to the many parental heartaches awaiting my fragile heart, at each milestone you arrive at.
But I pray for there to be many such milestones that you and Emma will cross courageously, and so I recommitted myself to God (even as I was pouring my heart out to Him!), that I will be brave to be your No. 1 champion and make sure you stride confidently across each threshold as you take your step on each new path.