slice of life

Midnight Watch

I heard him cry-out from my office.

(My desk sits directly below his crib.)

Not again.

(My first thought.)

Should I bring a bottle?

(My second thought.)

Teething won’t last forever.

(My third thought.)

I closed the lights in my office and headed upstairs.


I peeked into his crib.

(Still sleeping.)

I set down my phone and went to the bathroom.

(Because I didn’t know how long I’d be here.)

He cried out again.

(Better move quickly!)

I returned to a silent, dark room.

(Should I sit?)

I’ve been sitting in the glider for nearly ten minutes.

(All is, thankfully, quiet.)

How many other mamas, dadas, and other caregivers awake in the world — looking after their little ones — right now?

(I will never know.)


31 thoughts on “Midnight Watch

  1. You are not alone in your late night, waking hours. I swear the last time I slept regularly was pre-kid. That was 34 years ago. Now, old age keeps me awake.

  2. A wise mom who knows “teething won’t last forever.” As a mom way past early childhood rearing, I can honestly say that it is almost a luxury to keep vigil over our children when they need us. How many moms are working at night; or working two jobs; or too tired to even get up? Or are divorced and/or separated from their children? Thanks for thinking to write such a beautiful post as a way of getting through this phase. As you already know, “This, too, shall pass” and will slowly become a distant memory. At this stage of life, I can’t even remember anything about my children teething!

  3. It’s 2:52 am… I am up with my eight month old who I just sliced about being my champion sleeper- I sure jinxed that! The good news, my five year old popped two new teeth yesterday with no more drama than “hey, I have some new holes in my mouth.” That’s something to look forward to.

  4. How well I remember those days . . . the exhaustion, the numbness, but also the incomparable experience of the little peach-fuzz head snuggled against me, the satiny skin, the warmth of a little body relaxing back to sleep, the ability to bring true comfort to one small soul. What a gift, a lovely, temporary gift. Strength and savor to you!

  5. I was looking at some old photos last night, thanks to Google Photos, and sometimes I feel like I can’t even remember what it was like to hold my children when they were tiny. I know I did it a lot, but I have to work to conjure up the memory of how it felt to sit in the chair in the middle of the night, staring out the window and snuggling my baby. Of course, I do like sleep too, and am glad that we have FINALLY reached a point where everyone will sleep in once in a while!

    1. Last night it was Isabelle’s turn to wake up in the morning. I’m not sure if she had a tummy ache or wasn’t tired, but we had a middle-of-the-night visitor. This, too, shall pass!

  6. Since I adopted my boys when they were older, I skipped this part of motherhood. I’m not sure I’m sad about missing all that sleep!

  7. I remember those days… now we need to stay awake until they home at night. Teething doesn’t last… but it is replaced with new worries. I bet quite a few were awake as well. Hoping you get a nap today!

  8. Loved your format! Oh the memories your words have stirred. I must be honest, I don’t miss them, but yet I do. I miss that little boy of mine who has grown into an awesome father. I’m having a Love You Forever moment thinking about this. 🙂

  9. I’ve had four grandchildren in the past two years and so the cries in the night are part of every conversation. Just tonight, my daughter, who recently returned to her career, assured her little one that there would be late night snack time……lots of it….before morning. Life, for the moment. PROMISE it will not last forever.

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