“Momma, lay in crib! Momma, lay in crib!” he cries out to me.
Both kids have been falling asleep in my own bed for a long time now. But this past week Boston suddenly decided she was ready to start out in her own bed. Pierce, however, has not been so eager about the whole transition.
“I will lay right here on the futon until you guys fall asleep, okay?”
“Momma, lay in crib! Momma, lay in crib!” His cries intensify, tears running fast.
I run over to his crib and gently rub his face, “Don’t be scared, baby. Momma’s right here.”
Even as the words escape my lips I catch myself holding my breath. For someday, so soon, these words will have no power. He will be forced to face this world on his own. Fear his own enemy to beat, and I, bumped to the sidelines.
But not today. Not tonight.
And so tonight I climb into his little crib and lie there until his breath turns deep. Because this night I can still be the one to take away his fears. This night I can be his peace and comfort. And so I lie with him still, long after he has fallen asleep.
My muscles begin to scream from being scrunched for so long, but I do not rise. For moving seems to be one move, one day, closer to letting go. And so I stay, his protector, his shelter from all life’s fears.
Eventually, after my body has screamed all it can, I slowly rise. I kiss his sleeping frame, so calm, so fearless. I linger for just one moment more.
I try to pray, but words seem so inadequate. A whisper. “Oh, God.” Uttered with all the passion of heaven itself.
An unspoken prayer to the Father of my dear little boy. . .
Hold him forever. Don’t let him go. When he grows too big for my own arms. When life has made his strength much more than my own. Hold him still. Keep him safe in your arms. He’s my baby, you know?
I feel His peace. My silent prayer caught up into His heavenly hands.
I slowly leave the room, knowing all will be okay.
Pierce awakes the next morning calling my name. We celebrate a night spent in his own bed with cheers and dancing. I kiss my sweet boy’s happy face. I look up. I smile.