Ebb and Flow

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[An oldie from when the Kid was just a few months.]

We have been having a bit of a sleep mutiny the past few nights.  "I wanna rock in the rock-ing chair," at 2:45 a.m.  "I wanna banana and an egg," at half-past four.  

This morning, I was yawning a bit, talking it over with my Carpool Buddy who has bub that's close in age.  We came to the conclusion that this is what people mean when they warn you--ad nauseam--throughout your pregnancy that, "You'll never sleep again!"  Because it's not that you never sleep, but being able to count on eight hours of sleep without interruption becomes a thing of the past.

But the part that really makes me feel like a grown-up, wise mommy is that I've realized that I don't mind so much anymore.

I mean, yes, I would love to sleep for ten or twelve hours a night if I could.  But a few nights of patchy sleep doesn't phase me too much.  I don't freak out and start super-analyzing what's wrong.  Whatever it is that's waking him will eventually pass, and it makes a good excuse to treat myself to an afternoon latte.

It's a lesson that applies more generally to child-rearing, too.  Somewhere in the back of my mind--in my pre-parent days--I thought, "He'll start sleeping perfectly through the night, and then we'll be done with that."  "He'll move to his own bed, and then we'll be done with that."  "He'll start using the toliet, and then we'll be done with that."  And on and on throughout the civilizing process of bringing up a kid.

As it turns out, raising a small human is more of an art than a science, more of a poem than a checklist.

Once again, I find myself thinking back to a reading from our wedding,

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern."

As was the case for me in marriage, it's taken a bit to let the ebb and flow happen.  To not panic each time the tide goes out or he suddenly hates socks or he wants meals at ungodly hours of the night...but I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm starting to learn.  So ebb and flow, sleep, ebb and flow away.