Day 13 – Falling to Sleep by Herself

For the past five years I thought that it would be best if I was always with Autumn no matter my frame of mind. Even though, as everyone knows, her bedtime has consisted of a two hour wrangle-fest per night, I always thought it best that she not feel alone even if I was not being my super-sweet self past a certain hour. I don’t know what I thought would happen – mostly I thought she might die of a broken heart if I left her alone for a moment (I can project like no bodies business.) And frankly I don’t want to take any of our moments together for granted.

And then she turned five and for some reason I could finally do it. I told her that now that she is five, she has to go to sleep on her own. I showed her the clock and how at 8:00 we are going to put on pajamas, brush teeth and get into her bed. I said that I will read one story, then dad will read one story and then her dad and I are going to go into the living room just down the five foot long hallway. And she said “Okay.” And she does it. She actually seems relieved. She even checks the clock when it’s beginning to get along in the evening and we talk about how much time she has left before bed. I don’t know if I did it right or wrong up until now and it doesn’t really matter but she’s ready and I’m ready and I know her dad is ready.

I still go in and get her and take her to bed with me when I go to bed (I still need to make sure she’s breathing in the middle of the night) and in the morning she is always so happy that I carried her in to sleep with me and we talk about how much she’s growing and able to go to sleep on her own and how wonderful it is that it is day and the sun is “brighting outside” (this is always accompanied by her hands held high into the air). She is so proud of being able to do things on her own now. She’s dressing herself, brushing her teeth on her own and getting her own water to drink. I think she was just waiting for me to be ready – allowing me to release her to be the big and capable girl that she is, giving me time to back the hell off already. But I just love her so desperately that I wanted to make sure that she always knew it with my presence (even if that ended up being a grumpy, fed-up presence) but now I see she needed me to trust that she can do it on her own. Five is good. I knew it would be. It takes me half a decade to figure anything out anyway.

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2 Responses to “Day 13 – Falling to Sleep by Herself”

  1. Oh, so bittersweet! Good for you.

  2. good luck, i slept with mom until i was 16. 😛

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