I watch you sleeping because…A letter to my daughter

words of magic and meaning

My darling little one,

A lady in the library today told me how good her children were, they went to bed behind closed doors and weren’t allowed out in the morning until their special clock told them it was time to get up. At 18 months and 3 years old they were so good and did as they were told.

I was so very sad for those very good little children and sadder still for their mummy. She didn’t really have pride in her eyes when she told me but perhaps a little longing, or maybe that was just me.

Well my darling if that is good then I’m afraid you are not good and perhaps you never will be. My confession is nor do I want you to be. I want more for you than closed doors and clock watching, more for us than separation and anxiety.

In the days when you woke so often at night it was harder to be patient when I put you down to sleep. Harder to pick you up those endless times, to rock you back and forth and keep my voice calm and soft as I sang your lullabies, I was so tired you see, so very tired. But you weren’t to blame, so why should you pay the price? A price too high just simply for being born into this world, this big wide world, so unknown, so cold, so silent, so loud, so still, so harsh, so bright.

I could never leave you to cry not for one minute, one second with the thought that your needs weren’t being met. That need just to be close, to be warm, to move, to be held, to be back inside until you were ready.

It felt alien and wrong in the very core of my being, the words that were said by so many about spoiling you, and the thought of it makes my heart ache.

Now that you sleep for four hours or more and I am slightly more sane than I was before, I have found that place where the time between waking a sleep is precious and magical and a privilege saved only for me and I’m glad that we got there together you and me. That your light kept me strong and patient and true to my heart.

I watch you now when you are asleep, not because I fear for you or worry about you. Perhaps I am odd in that way. I trust all is well with you, that there are forces protecting you, lighting your way. But I watch you because I am aware, so acutely aware that this is but a brief moment in our story, not even a chapter, but as brief as a page. I want that page to be written with words of magic and meaning and I don’t want to skip to the end when you are grown.





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