Mama SensePosted: November 13, 2011
Last night Todd and I sat down to watch “In Treatment” on Netflix. We put on a 20-minute episode, and Todd fell asleep about 15 minutes in. He slept through another episode, which I watched. Then I closed my eyes and promptly fell asleep too.
It must be noted that it was around 9:30 pm when all this transpired. I used to never fall asleep on the couch like that, much less at that early hour.
At some point after I’d nodded off, I heard Sara crying upstairs. The next thing I knew I was in her room holding her and rocking her. She has an annoying cough, and I think it woke her up and made her cranky. Also she had to pee. Then she fell right back asleep.
It occurred to me after I got into bed myself (leaving Todd on the couch downstairs — it’s near impossible to get him up before he’s ready, I’ve learned): That instinct never leaves us. I’m one of the deepest sleepers there is, but I’ve always popped immediately out of bed, wide awake and focused, when one of my daughters cried at night, from the moment we brought them home as newborns. I seriously don’t remember climbing the stairs to Sara’s room last night. I just knew I needed to be there, and I was there.
That’s pretty amazing. Especially since they are far from babies now.
As much as I love that my girls are getting older, I also realize that I’m slowly but surely losing my grip on them. Less and less will I be the center of their world. Less and less will they profess their utter love for me above all others. More and more they’ll start to rebel, assert their independence, want to be separate.
That’s what they’re supposed to do, I know that. But as with so many of the ironies of parenthood, the more freedom I gain from them, the more it pains me. Because I realize I won’t ever lose that mother sense. Even when they’re 40, if they call me crying, I’ll be right there.