I enjoy waking up early

Sitting in bed with Aubrey the other morning, listening to the rain, I began thinking about how I have never been a morning person. Part of me wishes I could have taken after my dad when it comes to this, a very small part, but a part none-the-less. I have always enjoyed sleep and I would venture to call myself a bit of a professional when it comes to napping. I can fall asleep anywhere; car, plane, couch, standing in line at the post office, etc. I can also sleep through anything. I have never been able to discuss thunderous night time storms the next day because I rarely know they happened. Aubrey changed that.

I wake her up every morning around 5am to feed her and occasionally I wake up early just to look at her. I look forward to our time together in the early morning when the house is quiet and everyone else is still asleep. I can hear her slow relaxed breathing as she nurses and drifts back to sleep. I can hear every little moan of gratitude and pleasure that she makes as she fills her empty belly. I can feel every twitch of her little body as she gets settled into my arms and then I can feel as she relaxes completely and surrenders to the trust that I will hold her forever. I can smell the sweet, musky scent of her warm body in the cool morning air of the bedroom. I hold my nose to her head as she nurses and take in every detail.

I know she enjoys these times as much as I do, because when we don’t get it both of our days start off wrong. I find I can’t focus at work because she is constantly in my thoughts, and she tends to be cranky at day care and knowing it is my fault breaks my heart.

I find it amazing how I can find so much joy in imagining my daughter growing up and yet it nearly reduces me to tears at the same time. I catch myself laughing at the faces she makes while I help her stand and her head bobbles on her skinny little neck, and at the same time I swallow back the lump in my throat for the thought of the moment she doesn’t need my help to stand up anymore.

Talking to my mom over Mother’s Day weekend she told me the story of one of my own milestones. When I reached the critical age in adolescence when it becomes vital to be ‘cool’, my mom was turning forty. Our milestones collided in an emotional train wreck that I can only pray I have the strength to endure with as much grace she did. I told my mom, my life-time best friend, that I didn’t want her to wait at the bus stop with me anymore. She played it cool and did not let me see how much it hurt, or how scared she was to watch her only daughter wait at the end of a long drive way, alone, with potential crazy homicidal kidnappers that could drive by at any moment (we didn’t live in a bad neighborhood or anything but now as a mom I know the scenarios her mind must have created). My mom played off my comment with an aloof, “Ok, cool.” Of course she left the front door cracked enough that she could see me and spring into action with super human mom speed if needed.

There are so many incredible milestones yet to come for Aubrey that I know will bring me unimaginable pride and joy, yet I know those milestones also signify one more thing I am no longer needed for. But I guess that is truly what parenthood is; a lifetime of preparing the most precious and important person in your life, to live without you. That is why I enjoy waking up early, because for those few priceless moments every morning, she is my baby and she needs me just as much as I need her.


2 Responses to “I enjoy waking up early”

  1. 1 Missy D
    May 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Oh wow, make me tear up at work, why don’t ya!

    The toughest job in the world is raising another human being. Good mothers really are the strongest, most respectable individuals on the planet, in my opinion, and you should know you’re one of ’em!

  2. May 16, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I love these words! It’s so true. I have friends who’s younger babies are meeting milestones faster than Skyler is, and it does not bother me, because I know that I get to have my baby longer than they get to have theirs! While theirs are wiggling to crawl away to the toy across the room, mine is still happy to play with my face and hands while I hold her on my lap. It is something I cherish daily, and I know my heart will break the day she needs more than my lap to entertain her!

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