“Do you want me to lay with you?”
Even in the dark I could see her stubborn blond hair gathered in wisps around her face and her little girl body curled into a warm grey blanket snuggled tightly beside her favourite stuffed animal.
“No, just hold my hand.”
I reached for her hand and held it in mine, reminding myself that it was good for her to not need me beside her, she needed her independence; the ability to go to sleep on her own; the security of knowing I was there but she was big enough to do things by herself.
Sitting at the end of her bed I watched her chest rise and fall, and remembered all of the nights spent rocking back and forth praying for sleep to come. I closed my eyes and could picture the rocking chair in the corner of the room where I sang the same song night after night, over and over, waiting for her breathing to become rhythmic and calm.
I could feel her weighted body in my arms while we swayed around the room, both of us crying, both of us new and unsure of where we fit, and neither one of us willing to give up.
Opening my eyes, I placed my hand on my daughters back feeling the slumbering rise and fall of her sleep. She was growing up fast. It could be seen in her language, her play, her questions, and through her blossoming independence that she was becoming a big girl.
And through a happy sigh I realized that no matter how many nights she went to sleep just holding my hand, or how many times she slept without waking, there would always be that mommy in the corner slowly rocking her baby and singing a song.