4am and nothing to do but think

It’s 4 am on the dot.  You woke up screaming and shrieking.  I know you must have had a bad dream, or your teeth are really hurting you.  I hurry to put on socks and a sweatshirt, it’s cold outside of bed (57 to be exact).  I rush in to rescue you from the crib and you sweetly snuggle into my shoulder and sigh, happy to know someone will get you.

I heat some milk and then we sit down in the armchair.  Everything is so still outside.  There is no breeze to move the two ropes dangling from the tree across the street.  There are no runners this early, and no cars with people on their way to work.  It is eerie.  Even the house across the street is dark, their baby must be sleeping well today.  (Normally, I see the flicker of their tv in the early morning that matches ours.  I wonder if they also take comfort in the fact that there is someone else up with their baby like I do.)
You sigh and look at me, questioning why you are up.  You close your eyes and try to go back to sleep.  I am trying to will you to sleep with my mind, but I know in my heart that you are up for the day and so am I.  
I both hate and love this time of the morning.  I’d rather be sleeping, but I know I won’t get this quite, still time with you for much longer.  Even 30 minutes into our morning, you are trying to push away.  You want the warmth and comfort of mama, but you also want to go exploring.  I keep you in my arms for another few minutes, then turn on Sesame Street and curl up on the futon.  You do such a good job of playing quietly, so I can get as much rest as possible.  We watch the sun come up together, and then we start our day in earnest.

(originally published 2/24/2009)

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