I just came back downstairs from trying to settle Sydney down to sleep. We are transitioning her out of her blessed afternoon nap, and today was a nap day, so she probably won’t be falling asleep for another 20 or 30 minutes (it’s 9:25 right now). But after two days of no nap, she was so cranky and tired today that she HAD to have a nap.
Anyway. Most of the time when I have to keep going up to her after bedtime, I get more and more frustrated. I am hoping that she doesn’t wake Georgia up, or wishing that I could just Watch American Idol Without Stopping Every Two Seconds, or just not wanting to haul my big belly up the steps again. But sometimes God gives me the extra measure of grace for her, to see her as she really is. She is not out to get me (usually). She is just a very small person, still figuring this whole life thing out.
Tonight she noticed some shadows on the ceiling that were making her uneasy. On top of the fact that she had lost the privilege of having books in her bed because she called for me too many times, she had a lot of time on her hands to look around her darkened room. And with that extra measure of grace, I went up and offered to rock her for a few minutes to help her settle in.
Throughout Sydney’s life, I have often taken the opportunity to rock her at night. I take her from her room back into the little nursery and she snuggles her little self up to me for a rock. We sit silently, I look out the window and watch people taking their dogs for their last walks and listen to the remnants of the rainstorm against the porch roof. Before I got pregnant with Joel, really since Sydney was little, I thought that it was possible that she would be our last baby. And I decided one night that I wouldn’t worry about spoiling her by rocking her after bedtime, when really she should be lying quietly in her bed and going to sleep by herself.
These moments, rocking in the dark, I am absolutely positively sure that this is just where I need to be. I can just enjoy her warm little self draped over me, her soft little curls falling over her pink little cheeks, her tiny hands rubbing her teddy bear’s back. This is where the heart of me as a mommy connects with my littlest girl in a special way.
This point in pregnancy is always bittersweet for me. I am almost into the third trimester and I am totally in love with my little Joel. I am getting all his little things ready, folded up on his shelves, and thinking about holding him close is intoxicating. The flip side of the anticipation is that Sydney will not be the baby any more. Of course, I will always love her and that love will only grow as she does. But these special moments will never be the same, that is the reality. My arms will often be filled with Joel, and I will need to rock him at night, watching the late night people going by outside.
I remember feeling the same way when I was pregnant with Sydney. I knew that my special youngest moments with Georgia were coming to an end and I tried to soak them all up. There is just no going back from that moment when the big sisters come to the hospital to visit their new baby sibling. No matter how little your toddler was before you left home the day before, she suddenly looks like a huge, capable giant next to the new baby.
She has no idea what she’s in for. The joy and the pain. The fun and the fighting. The love, oh, the love. Her baby brother is going to change everything. I’m going to need lots more of those extra measures of grace.