“Don’t touch me!” She screams over and over and over until it melts somehow into a plea for me.
“Mommy mommy mommy mommy. I want you.”
I pull her into my lap and cradle her to my heart.
“I’ve got you. I promise. It’s hard for you right now but it’s OK. I’m here. I love you. I always love you.”
“Sing to me,” she sobs, “Sing me the lullaby song.”
So I do. Singing phrases I made up when she was a infant in these same kind of hysterics to soothe the pain and anger that I’ve never really understood. As her sobs slow and subside she’s over taken by a yawn and finally falls silent.
Sleep has always been her enemy and no matter how we’ve faced it I can’t figure out how to help her conquer it. But I know it won’t always be this way, that someday her little body won’t need my arms and she she won’t ask me to sing away her struggle. She’ll lay down and she’ll sleep gladly and then it will be me navigating tears, remembering her anger and her passion, longing for her yawns. So excuse me while I hold her. Forgive me for considering these moments important. Save me the opinions on her struggle and of my interference. I don’t get to decide when she needs me, I only get to be there when she does.