My son wakes up crying most evenings. At almost 11 months, he startles himself awake and howls a noise that most babies only make for the first year. His newborn cry days are almost over. The night terrors started early, or his startle reflex started very late. His cry is like a siren, it starts from deep within and hits a pitch only heard in the animal kingdom. Sometimes, he’ll only cry 2-3 times then fall asleep once again with his little thumb in his mouth.
I bemused to a friend this evening in wondering what was waking him up from his deep, baby dreams of shapes and color or faces and feelings. It dawned on me then before he even had to say a word, he was dreaming of letting go. They say at this age, their little minds process being away from their providers and beginning to think and feel emotions outside of hunger, pain, sleepiness and otherwise. He’s learning to live without me and I’m learning to know that he is going to grow up. It’s funny, even having an older sibling, I still imagine he’ll be this small forever. The way his little body fits perfectly in one arm. The smell of his hair after a bath. I didn’t cherish this enough sooner with my daughter. I was too busy working, or conquering, or both.
Daniel is going to be a year old. I can hardly believe it. The last year of my life was filled to the brim with truly enjoying every moment of his newborn look and smell and feel. I cuddled him late at night, (John took the early mornings.) I dressed him in the sweetest outfits and sang the silliest songs. Since finding out about the hysterectomy and grieving what we could no have, it’s hit me suddenly that this is it. The other children we spoke of, just will not be. Tonight, even when that’s a scary thought, it seems alright. Sometimes, moms have terrors too. We’re just awake.