I Had Forgotten

When my children were infants, I loved to watch them sleep.  The steady breathing, the rise and fall of their chest, the knees tucked underneath themselves so their bottoms point upward toward the ceiling, their scrunched pouts, their little fingers relaxing from a clenched fist into a loose surrender.

Utterly mesmerizing.

I remember one evening over eight years ago when a friend visited.  She hadn't yet met my daughter, still only a few months old, so together we tiptoed into the darkened nursery.  We stood by the side of the crib, silent, soaking in the sight of Reese's sleeping form. 

Despite our quietness, a moment later Reese stirred and lifted her head.  You've never seen two adults drop to the floor that quickly and army-crawl out of a room.  Busted.

Over the years, I've gotten out of the habit of checking on my children as they sleep.  They're older now.  Once they're tucked in, they're down for the night.  Plus, once I've tucked them in, I'm done for the night.

The other evening, though, I discovered Spunky, my three-year-old's beloved stuffed puppy, downstairs after she had gone to sleep.  I carried him up to her room, opened the door, and gingerly approached to return the puppy to her side.

When children are asleep, the chaos and antics of the day fall away.  I alternated between Kerrington's and Brooke's bedsides, absorbing the sight of their faces as if I hadn't seen them all day even though we just had spent hours together.  I felt the inexplicable sensation of missing them even though they were right there.  I was reminded that motherhood is less of a job and more of a high calling.

I had forgotten how amazing it was to watch a child sleep.   All these years later, it's still mesmerizing.


  1. I know exactly what you're saying... missing them, even though they're right there in front of you, and you just spent twelve hours driving each other completely nuts.

    I too love to watch my girls sleep. So perfect. So peaceful.

  2. Margaret S. MortonOctober 15, 2013

    my two boys are 7 and almost 7 and came to me by adoption only 5 years ago. Their father and I still go in and tuck and smell and kiss and watch as they are sleeping every single night and multiple times a night. Now I also have new baby girl who came 3 months ago. She falls asleep in my arms during her night feedings and instead of putting her back in her crib right away I just hold her and watch her sleep. It's my time to breathe in that little face and the baby smell and fill my heart again. Love this blog post and have already shared with friends.

  3. I love to watch them sleep. I put mine to bed, then I go check on them one more time before I go to bed myself. I frequently pause for a few seconds and just watch them sleep. After the chaos of the day, there is something so calming and serene about them.

  4. Mari CoronaOctober 16, 2013

    My daughter is 18 and I still enjoy watching her sleep. Nice post :)

  5. Margaret, I understand exactly what you mean by not only enjoying the sight, but also savoring the smell. Breathing in that baby smell is such a universal pleasure, and, like you, I still find myself doing this with my kids now.

    Thanks for your comment and for visiting!

  6. Calming and serene -- two perfect words here!

  7. I'm just waiting for the day when my (much older than she is now) daughter wakes up to see me watching her. "Mom, that's creepy!!" It's gonna happen...

  8. Yeah... it can be a bit stalker-ish, but in a good way, right?


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