Most people who know me know that Claire doesn’t sleep well. Claire isn’t a great sleeper, that’s the way I say it when people ask that super annoying question – because when you have a baby people constantly ask you invasive questions.
Most nights (every night), I just sleep with her. It’s easier than putting her back to sleep every 45 minutes.
Recently, I was getting pretty annoyed by this. I longed to sleep by myself. On my stomach. Wrapped up in my little blanket burrito which I have perfected over the last 32 years.
But today, I looked through these heartbreaking pictures of Syrian refugee children sleeping since they have had to flee their homes. I’ve scrolled past them a few times this week, but today I looked.
Tonight when I scooped up my crying baby and laid her down in what has become our bed. She instantly calmed. She felt her pillow, her head nestled under my chin and I put one arm reassuringly over her. And I thought about the babies in those pictures. I couldn’t help but think of Claire. What if one day, without any explanation I was gone? What if too her baby doll, and her reading pillow, her little chair – all the things that comfort her, and let her know she’s home were gone too?
Tonight I slept with Claire and I wasn’t annoyed. I was grateful, but also really sad. I don’t know how to fix things, I don’t know the right answer but I don’t think any babies should be scared to fall asleep. I wish everyone – of all ages, all religions, all everything- had a safe place to rest and some who loved them enough to be their calming place. Even if being that calming place isn’t always easy or pleasant.
Sometimes in her sleep Claire rubs my arm. I assumed it was to reassure herself that I was still there, but tonight as I lay there worrying about all the mommas and all the babies, I wondered if she maybe did it to reassure me?
Our sleep life isn’t ideal, but hey, the world isn’t ideal. I try to remind myself that each phase will pass, and someday, I will long for these nights – and somewhere, some other mom is yearning for this moment.