The places where I feel her pain hurt most. I'm especially sensitive to her now, my first-born, after a summer with Lyme Disease and Bell's Palsy and worry. Her worry first, mine second. I linger longer with her now. The awareness of her health and her wellness suddenly illuminated in my vision.
We shifted as a family this summer – created more time for togetherness – bore the uncomfortableness it provoked. More fights, more overwhelm, less of the space I've come to know myself to rely upon.
We read Harry Potter every night. It was a family affair. I'd read from our 4 year old's bed and my husband and 7 year old would listen from her bed. It was cozy. We were doing something good. But all the while something else happened too. Slowly, as summer progressed, my 7 year old forgot how to fall asleep by herself – without a warm body in her bed. She lost a little bit of that golden independence.
And so I sit here, typing to you, at 10PM, trying my darnedest to get my kids back on some semblance of a bedtime schedule that doesn't involve us in their beds for hour upon hour.
Because, we. Just. Can't.
Every few minutes my daughter wails to me from the other room. And I remind her: "I am right here. I am close. I hear you. I love you. I know you can do this."
She's mad too – wants to be on her own, have her own space. Determined and miserable, both. "I want you and I don't want to want you, Mama."
Sometimes being a parent is just awful. It's magical and powerful and heavy and awesome and terrible all at once. And that's why I do what I do. That's why Calm-A-Mama exists.
And so, I ran back in with Midnight Mouse Kids Sleep Drops and she opened up like the tiny bird I remember from infancy.
I leaned over and I kissed her forehead and I told her, "We've got this. We both do."