Monday, June 13, 2011

Sleep Tight

"You are strong, you are smart, and you are beautiful." I say.
I brush her bangs away from her forehead as I lean in to give her a kiss.
"Another one Mama!" she begs, and I lean in and kiss both her cheeks. Her giggles are contagious. "Sing my good nap song please!"

Good Nap Moira, Good Nap Mo, Good Nap Mo-Mo, It's time to go to sleep!

I sing, my voice a little louder then a whisper.
Somehow this song evolved, with the kisses and hugs, she became ready for her nap. It wasn't always this fluid, this routine.
When she was first born, a small little helpless being crying out in the middle of the night, I would pull her into my chest. Her cheek pressed against my own. I sought to console her, to ease her cries. My mind would wander, victim of a sleepless fog. All to often the first phrase that would come into my mind, I would speak.
Many nights it was "Sleep, please, sleep!". Over and over the words would fall from my lips, almost that of a prayer or chant. Begging my newborn to sleep, so in turn I could.
As sleep became more consistent, my whispers changed. Good night softly into her ear, I would repeat as my body rocked side to side. Her breathing would begin to slow, her cries lessen, as her body relaxed off to sleep.
In those quiet moments, I would whisper into her newborn ear my wishes for her.
I would tell her that she was strong, and smart, and beautiful. She was promised that she could do anything she wanted with our unconditional support. My list would always conclude the same way. With a kiss on her cheek and the same closing admission, "I am so lucky to be your mommy." I confessed and into her crib she would sleep.
Gradually, verses were added to our song reminding her,

I love you Moira, I love you Mo, I love you Mo-Mo, It's time to go to sleep.

This song, a constant as things around us changed. Crib exchanged for bed, a little sister introduced, panties in place of diapers, as my baby became a little girl.

Close your eyes Moira, Close your eyes Mo, Close your eyes Mo-MO, It's time to go to sleep.

Cries at bedtime were replaced with pleas for more hugs, more kisses. Repeated readings of Snow White and Where the Wild Things Are are negotiated as Jessie lies under her arm.
"Kisses mama and finish my song, please!" she asks as her thumb returns to her mouth, an indicator that sleep is imminent.

Good Nap Moira, Good Nap Mo, Good Nap Mo-Mo, It's time to go to sleep.

I get up from the edge of her bed, and walk to the door. I look over. She has turned over to her side, the covers under her arms as her eyes fight sleep.
"I am so lucky to be your mommy!" I say, as I pull the door closed.


Some of us show it easily, hugging relatives each time we meet. Wrapping our arms around friends.
Some of us are more reserved, rarely touching other people.
And then a few of us hang out somewhere in the middle. Hugging our children, but limiting our affection to handshakes with others.
This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory.
Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us. Bring us to that time. Help us feel what you felt.
Then come back and link up your post on Tuesday, June 14.
Let's keep it to 600 words this time (or fewer, of course).


  1. What a wonderful little peek into your private moments with your daughter. It was beautiful and touching; I got a bit teary.

  2. This was so pretty. I am in the midst of this so I can completely relate to the part about please just sleep! But on the other hand, you reminded me to cherish this time as well.

  3. Sweet, touching. I love my sleep, but WOW do I ever love moments like this! beautiful words, beautiful sentiment, beautiful you.

  4. Oh my goodness...I LOVE this post! Truly amazing! I can so relate, and your last line "I'm so lucky to be your mommy" brought tears to my eyes! Thank you :)

  5. How perfect and dear. Those moments with your daughter must be so magical and you captured them perfectly here. I love your song and that it's constant even as she grows...beautiful!

  6. Sigh. I love it. Like Jen said, this is such a private moment, and you really brought me into it. I thought the way you traced the evolution was really effective.

    Great job!

  7. I love the verbal affection you mix in here :)

  8. ahhh this is a beautiful peep into the snuggly blurry-eyed nighttime world. Love your song, loving reliving the nighttime cuddles with my own three girls. Thanks so much for stopping by at the blog from RDC, great to meet you!

  9. This made me miss rocking my babies to sleep!


Let me know what you think.