I WILL Watch You Sleep.

Before I even became a parent I loved the book “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch . Then I became a parent. After the birth of my first-born I am not even able to glance at the front cover of this book without breaking out into a tearful sob that resembles that of a wild animal in heat. But I must admit to my children that no matter your age … I WILL watch you sleep.

When I brought each of you home I watched you sleep out of pure fear that you would stop breathing but also out of pure joy and unconditional love. Your little bodies silky smooth and wrinkly. Peaceful and serene, the only movement was the rise and fall of your chest or the twitch of an upper lip as you each embraced this big old world you fell into.

I WILL watch you sleep.

Days turned to weeks and weeks to months. Each of you nestled against my skin in the wee hours of the night. Though your bellies already full and fast asleep for some time, I still cradled you in my arms to feel your breath and watch you sleep.

I WILL watch you sleep.

As you grew older and fell into the germs of play dates and grocery carts, illness was a given. Through stuffy noses and croupy coughs I would sneak in to your rooms to touch your warm little noses and fuzzy little heads saying a quiet prayer under my breath. Leaning over the railing of your cribs I would watch you sleep.

I WILL watch you sleep.

Then you, my eldest, decided to jump ship on your crib. Now it was a different type of watching. I spent night after night reassuring you the “big boy bed” was safe, laying on the hard floor of your bedroom. Peaking over to see if your breath had slowed so I knew I was clear to slither on my stomach out the door as I held my breath in order to not wake you.

I WILL watch you sleep.

Then I was blessed by owning a Smartphone with a camera. I would sneak into your rooms to capture snapshots of weird sleeping poses and independent choices on jammies. I wanted to capture your sweet faces not only within the picture album of my mind but also within the frame of a lens. I wanted to remember any way that I could.

I WILL watch you sleep.

Now as you grow older, farther from the days of nursing in my arms and closer to a time when you will be in the arms of a lover I watch you sleep. I watch you sleep to soak in how you all still resemble that sleeping baby I brought home from the hospital swaddled tight. I watch you to be sure your little faces are imprinted on my brain so I never forget you this little. I watch you sleep to silently grieve the passing days of your childhood while celebrating your growth into little people with giant personalities conquering the world. I watch you sleep because I love you so much that it hurts.

I WILL watch you sleep.

I will watch you no matter the age. Newborns, toddlers, preteens, teens, drunk 21 year-olds and on and on and on. I WILL watch you sleep every chance I can to take the sight of you in, for you will always be my sleeping babies.


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