Monday, October 22, 2012

I've had to come to terms with a harsh reality about my youngest daughter. I've thought it might be true for some time but wanted to believe otherwise, but after this past week I have to accept reality. It's hard to even type the words. Lean in and I'll whisper: Ainsley has her father's sleep habits. Dang it any old way. Emie and I know the fine art of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. We spend lots of life in a state of REM and it's altogether wonderful. Sleep has always come easily to me and I thought this was how it was for everyone else until I met Dirk.

Captured this rare moment on film to remind myself of what is possible.

For him sleep is this fragile place tiny and small. When he gets anywhere near to it everything in the atmosphere has to stay in its exact place. One slip and the whole thing crashes to the floor, shatters into hundreds of pieces, and he is awake again.

He actually falls asleep pretty easily with the aid of uploaded sermons, talk radio, white or pink noise (see how relative "easily" has become for me) but it is the staying asleep part that brings the challenge. This past week our little Ainsley love emerged from her room just about every night. She wouldn't come straight to our room. We'd hear her sitting on the steps humming to herself. Sometimes though she would come to our room and stand at the foot of our bed with the stealthy presence of the night stalker. It happened during those rare instances when Dirk was actually asleep at the same time I was. Her stealthy presence would, naturally and instantly shave ten years off of our lives. She's a sidler, that one. Quiet as a thief pulling off a monumental art heist. So last night was no different. I was in a state of blissful sleep no doubt dreaming about Mary Poppins offering me a year of free nannying when I sensed her presence. A mother just comes to know these things: one of the offspring is up and about. I opened the bedroom door to find her little precious self standing before me. "I can't sleep," she told me. "Maybe I could come in your bed just for a couple whiles." Well, she may be an insomniac but Miss Wakey Wakerson* is no dummy. Ask your mother for anything after waking her from a deep sleep and chances are mighty strong you're going to get it. So in she came, the soft bundle of a girl that she is.

She smells so good and is so supple in the middle of the night. She asks questions that would be funny if it weren't 1:30am like "Why does daddy's nose make that noise?" or "Is there a seed in my belly button that will grow something big?" These are the ponderings of a person whose been alive only 50 months. I love her sense of wonder. I love how small she seems in our big bed and how I can feel the firmness of her spine and ribs beneath my fingers through her flimsy nightgown. I love how she'll lean into me and whisper right into my ear with her warm breath, "Do you think you might like me to kiss you now?" It is unmatched and wonderful and beautiful. But it is 1:30 am almost none of this registers at that hour of the night or is already morning? Not entirely sure what to do about it. Prepare a little Nyquil nightcap for the little bird every night of the week? Dunno. But I am trying to enjoy her sweet presence even in the middle of the night. She is as precious as the days are long -- and they are long indeed.

* Completely lifted that moniker from the adorable Melanie

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