My second son was born during the summer solstice. He first opened his eyes in a world with lasting days and vanishing nights and has believed that is how it should be ever since. He fights sleep just as hard as we fight to stay awake the mornings after long nights convincing him to close his eyes. Rarely does more than a day or two go by without a middle of the night call for assistance.
I go to him, rocking his long body which now having grown for two and a half years cannot snuggle on my lap as easily as it once did. He tosses and turns, unable to get comfortable, but fearing the solitude of his own bed. All the methods have failed us – coaching, crying, co-sleeping have each resulted in a child who wants thad be rocked, and rocked, and rocked to sleep.
After his restless nights, he wakes early. Before the sun has pushed back the night he has climbed into our bed, pulling back the covers and yelling, “it’s morning!” in his exhaustingly sweet voice.
I walk through the night, praying for sleep, and my husband rises early with the babe, praying for night to come again quickly.
He won’t always need me like he does now. It is the curse of parenthood – the days that you know them the least, they ask so much from you. And when you begin to understand, they start to pull away.
There will be days, years from now, when I hope he wakes me in the middle of the night. When a monster chases him and he cannot run, I hope I hear his call. When the classmate he likes tells him the feeling is not mutual, when his designated driver cracks open a can, or when the darkness of the night threatens to crush his soul, I pray he calls to me. And I will tell him no matter how dark the night, the sun has never refused to rise.
My son was born for the daylight. But for now, I do wish he’d sleep.