The night is dark – the sun has finally fallen after a long Summer’s day. His room is dimly lit from the hallway light, which we keep on as he has a fear of the dark that has somehow been ingrained on him since he was little. He’s never been a good sleeper, and that doesn’t seem to be changing as he gets older, which makes for a tired mummy.
But still I am here, as I always will be.
His arms, still a little chubby – a remnant from his baby days which seem so long ago – are wrapped tightly around me, pulling me to him as though if he lets go I’ll disappear into the night. His wide eyes plead at me to stay, filled with fear at what may happen if I don’t.
It’s one of those moments I know will stay with me. One of those insignificant, fleeting moments that one day I will look back on and not remember the dogged tiredness, but his eyes, his arms and his need for me. So I sing him a lullaby, I stroke his head and try to soothe him back to sleep.
Night terrors. A milestone that many children go through but not one which us parents like to remember. Your children wake filled with terror and are inconsolable. They want you there but not to go near them. They push you away and cry if you go. And there is nothing you can do but ride out the storm.
We seem to be finally out of the other end of eighteen months of these nightly ordeals, and I breathe a sigh of relief as we do. Whilst I have celebrated the big baby milestones such as laughing, walking and talking, it is this one small moment I will carry with me.
Because one day he won’t need me quite so much. One day he will turn to another woman that isn’t me. But I will hold onto these memories of the times when I was his all and he was mine and there was nothing else we needed in this world.
*This is an entry into the Tots100 WaterWipes Baby Milestones challenge