We had a rough night, you and I. The kind that is full of tears and misunderstandings. The kind where I force myself to take deep breaths as I try to navigate through another storm that is brewing. The kind where fear creeps into my heart when I think about the future, and what our relationship might look like during those tumultuous teenage years if I can’t seem to get things “right” in the here and now. 

Usually after rough nights like this one, I find myself trying to rush through the bedtime routine. As I physically close the door to your room, I want to mentally close the door on all that just went wrong between us. I want to be able to quickly shut down the anxious thoughts swirling in my head and escape the heaviness that weighs on my heart as I try to cope with feelings of inadequacy. I want to flip off the parenting switch for a while and let my weary mind rest. 

But tonight, I didn’t allow myself to leave in a hurry. I lingered in your room. I laid with you for longer than usual. I stroked your hair until you fell asleep. Instead of running from my feelings, I just let them wash over me. And as you drifted off into a sweet slumber, I studied your face. I counted your freckles. I listened to your breath and watched your chest rise and fall. And I let my mind drift back to those days before you came to be. The months of negative pregnancy tests and the rising fear that gripped my chest each night that I lay awake, wondering if there would ever be a baby in my empty arms. I remembered the shock and elation I felt when one of those tests finally said positive and the pure joy that spilled out when I told your dad. I remembered how magical it was the first time I felt you move and how you always seemed to know exactly when I needed to feel you kick. I remembered the first time I held you against me. I knew in that instant that my life had changed forever. 

My tears fell on your pillow tonight as I remembered those times. Because when we are in the midst of a struggle, it is easy to lose sight of the raw and true connection that we have always shared. It is easy to get frustrated with your stubbornness, while I grapple with trying to control my own. It is easy to let my anger and frustration do the talking. And it is too easy to feel like I have somehow failed you. 

But as I laid next to you tonight, studying the sweet face that has peered up at me countless times over the last several years, I flashed back to when I first saw that face in the moments after you were born. With your tiny body pressed against mine, my tears spilled onto you. I knew that a miracle had just been placed on my chest. I knew I would love you until my last breath. I knew that I didn’t have all the answers, but that somehow it would all be OK. And laying next to you tonight, sharing that sacred space in the quiet of your room, I felt the exact same way. 

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Mary Ann Blair

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. She loves connecting with other parents who like to keep it real! Her work has been published on Her View From Home, Perfection Pending, That’s Inappropriate, Pregnant Chicken, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle and in Chicken Soup For the Soul. She can be found at miraclesinthemess.com or on Facebook at Miracles in the Mess