Last night, my heart broke as I watched you struggle through the pain of confusion. As mine was splintering at the core, your tiny heart was breaking as well, little cracks and fractured pieces. You didn’t understand. Your little silhouette, in the glowing night-light, was bobbing in its half-awake, half-asleep, completely torn-apart state. Bewildered, you tried time and again to no avail. You didn’t want your bear. You refused your Minnie Mouse. You “ate hu.” Oh, how I wish your sisters had never allowed your little ears to hear that word, “hate,” but at that hour, I think there was nothing in the world that you loved, could possibly love, except the one thing you couldn’t have, that I could no longer provide.
Finally, you caved . . . just a little. You cried and reached for your sippy-cup cup of water. As you snuggled it into your chest, you drifted into a half-sleep. My heart breathed a sigh of relief, but it didn’t last . . .
It started again and again . . .
The tears, the rolling, the begging, the longing . . .
Restless tossing . . .
Will this pain ever cease?
Please, please just sleep and end the tortured yearning.
The torment truly is shattering me much more than it is you. You will forget; I won’t. You will move on, but the memory of this fleeting time in our lives will stick in my heart forever as I can no longer have this part of our bond back.
You’re a big girl now. You eat tacos and homemade pizza. You drink cups of milk and yummy juice in so many amazing flavors. Candy is your favorite. Mommy can still nourish you, but differently. Mommy can snuggle you in her arms and smell your sweet fragrance of innocence as we read story after story. Mommy can sing songs to comfort your little soul. We can run and play games, and mommy can kiss all your boo-boos. I’ll continue to fish toys out of your footie pajamas and we can hold hands and dance until we collapse in giggles.
As you grow, things are only going to continue to change, and change is never, really, easy. This is just the first of many struggles we will endure as a mommy-daughter duo, but we will get through this . . . together. Yes, always together. Know that, bury it deep within your being and believe whole-heartedly there is no place in this world you can travel that I am not there.
Mommy’s milk is gone because all day you run and play—you don’t need it anymore. It knows that. How it knows that I am not sure, but that is what it is telling us.
Please sleep, my sweet, sweet child. I will nestle you close to my cheek as my tears dampen your baby-fine hair. I feel the emptiness of knowing there is nothing I can truly do to ease this transition other than to just be there . . . be me. Tomorrow, I will cradle you in my arms and bark at your LEGO dogs until that stage, too, has passed.
Soon, the magical stage will disappear completely as you turn into the child who looks at me like a monster and runs from my insane grown-up ideas and comments . . . ugh . . . if only I understood you. I do, more than you know. You and your sisters are so . . . ME. Scarier for me than it is for you, trust me.
We will always have this night. This first night of struggle for us. We are bonded for eternity. You are my baby now and always.
Whether breast or bottle fed. Whether your child is giving up a beloved pacifier or has lost a forever, lovey friend and must adjust to life without. It is so hard to watch the pain of loss in one so little. There is no way to reason or rationalize. Their tiny little brains just can’t comprehend the loss of what once was.
Being a mommy is tough and heart-breaking, but it is also heart-building. Those little cracks will heal and swell with a love so big it can overcome any obstacle. I have seen this with my “big girls.” I have had fractures with them that have healed . . . I currently have a few new fissures. They still need me, they still want me, whether they care to admit it or not. I am here whenever they want Mommy to snuggle. I’m their forever friend. I’m their safe place, their safety net, and they are my life force . . . what keeps this mommy’s broken heart beating . . . their smiles have a healing power that is immeasurable.