This morning I woke up scared. I had put Anji back in her crib for the night. It was 6.30 am and she still hadn’t woken up. These past few days she had been waking up at 5.00am crying. For a moment, an image flashed through my mind. What if she tried to get out of the crib, hurt herself and is lying on the floor of her bedroom?
What a terrible image to have the first thing you wake up. That’s fear, just fear, my knowing mind chimed in. She is okay. Just breathe. So I breathed. and sure enough, 5 minutes later, I heard a familiar voice… Mama…and not crying…My beautiful child up in the morning. I couldn’t have been happier.
It had been a hard fought battle the previous afternoon – getting her to sleep in her crib again. After our travel to India, she had started to sleep in the bed, and long story short, it wasn’t working out great. Not for her, not for us. So, with Abhi traveling, I decided to try the crib again. And I let her cry herself to sleep during nap time. It felt like the most terrible thing I had ever done. But this time, my intentions were clear: she needed sleep and she needed to learn to comfort herself. So, stoically, I stayed: in the bathroom sitting on the small stool, praying. Words about tonglen practice from the book I’m reading (‘How to be sick’ by Toni Bernard – just a wonderful book!) came to mind. Tonglen is a tibetian pracice where you breathe in the suffering of yourself and others and breathe out compassion and serenity. For a moment, I imagined connecting to the thousands of Mothers out there, who were like me, trying to do the right thing for their child, even though it was hard. My heart went out. The crying stopped soon after. She had fallen asleep.
Connecting to others in a way like this made me feel not alone. Often times, I’m convinced I must be the only mom facing such issues. Everyone else’s kids must eat properly at the meal times in their high chairs, and sleep without hassle and without needing to be read ‘Boo Hoo Hoo baby’ ten times ‘again’. But such thoughts make me feel alone. This practice made me feel connected. Ah, yes, other moms face this. I’m not alone.
Its funny talking about connection when in fact, these past four days and the rest of this week, I will be playing single parent. Abhi is traveling and normally that is sure to send me into ‘I am alone’ land. But somehow, this time feels different. He is right here, everywhere. We are connected. Not alone.
Connection. Imagined or real, it is a life saver. May we all find comfort in our connection with one another – in whatever way that manifests right now. Perhaps in simply writing in this blog, knowing someone will be reading it.
With Love, S.