I believe sleep is overrated, even though I need to remind myself of it often, especially at 2:30 AM when I am awakened by my 8 month old’s forced cry or my 3 year old’s lamp shining brightly into my room.
I pick up the younger daughter. She squishes her chubby cheeks into the space between my earlobe and shoulder and breathes a sigh of relief. “Mommy’s here. It’s OK,” I whisper.
I stand in the doorway of my older daughter’s room as her deep brown eyes stare into space. “What’s wrong?”
“I want you to fweep with me mommy.” I reluctantly squeeze into the twin bed between her and the cold, hard wall. She brushes my hair off my face and says, “I love you.”
Books and articles written by researchers and doctors suggest that children need a routine and to know who is in charge and this much or that much consistent sleep in order to be healthy. “Let her cry,” says the doctor. “She’ll soon learn to sleep if you don’t come to her rescue all the time.”
But isn’t that my job? To come to her rescue and be her savior, even if it is 2:30 AM? Before I know it, they will both be out in the world surrounded by many things from which I am no longer able to protect them. So, for now, sleep can wait.