Thursday, July 2, 2009

Momma's Arm

This is how my son falls asleep each night.

You'll notice that his attachment to Dora is not as strong as his attachment to my arm.

Yes, that is my arm he is "snuggling."

He's been home one month. He needs my arm to peacefully fall asleep each night.

I've thought a lot about this. I have a lot of time to think as I lay there with him each night, waiting for him to fall asleep. Usually about 45 minutes.

I could wean him off my arm.

I could force him to fall asleep without me. (In case you're wondering, this does result in crying...not manipulative crying, but "I'm extremely sad" crying.)

But why?

Well, I miss having that 45 minutes to myself.

I miss hanging out with whomever is still awake. (Usually dh.)

I miss not being (literally) tied to the bed at 8p.m.

So why do I do it?

In the scheme of things, this is just an eye blink in the course of my life. And while it's a slight inconvenience to me, the need/payoff for him is huge. Like my social worker said, "There are worse things!"

I'm grateful. It's ME who makes him feel safe enough to fall asleep. It's ME that he's turning to...instead of Dora.

What more could a mom ask for?

(If it's still happening in 6 months, I'll let ya know. :)

P.S. This totally reminds me of a book, Ida's Doll. It's the sweet story of two sisters who cannot afford a doll. The big sister allows her arm to be used as a doll; the little sister cradles the older sister's arm...even as it cramps and becomes uncomfortable in sleep, the older sister continues to allow the younger to hold it. I definitely know what it feels like to fall asleep with my arm cramping in a very awkward position.

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