Like clock work the last three nights, Eliza has been waking up at midnight. She lays in her crib whimpering softly; tonight she had turned on her mobile so when I crept into her room it was aglow and classical music was playing. She knows when I come in, I can hear the hope in her voice.
"Mama's here!" she seems to say.
And indeed, I am there to turn hope into a reality. I reach for her in the dark, lift up her insanely soft, sweet body, press her to my chest and breathe deeply. I know I am re-enforcing the behavior but I couldn't care less. She grabs a fist full of my hair, sticks it in her mouth along with her thumb. She lays her perfectly shaped head onto my shoulder, her face buried into my neck. Her breathing deepens and slows. Eliza melts into me and we soak each other up. She's happy, content, peaceful. I kiss her cheeks, smell her hair, gently sway back and forth. I whisper to her how much I love her. And love her I do. She knows that. And that is why, when I lay her back down onto her sheepskin, she is quiet. She falls back to sleep until morning comes.
What she needed was a little bit of Mama all to herself. In the world of loud, demanding siblings a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. Even if that means waking up at midnight to get some loving.