Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Dreams

I crawl in between flannel sheets toasted to the right temperature by my electric blanket. I situate the pillow just so. I grab my worn teddy bear (don't judge). I reach a hand out for Frink. We lie together holding hands in our warm bed waiting for sleep to take us.

It's perfect.

No one needs me. I can focus on much needed sleep to restore my body and revive my spirits.

It should be my favorite time of day.

But it is not.

Instead I lie with one ear open waiting for the inevitable cries of the Lion cub. Baby monitor or not, I can hear every cry or movement coming from his room downstairs. Sound travels well in our house and my ears are attuned to his calls.

It might just be a whimper, searching for his nanny blanket. Or it could be an incessant call of "Momma, Momma". I could hear his feet hit the floor as he runs to the door searching for us. I hear him fumble with the door handle, and his fists hitting the door in frustration when he realizes he cannot open it. The worst is the screams, the sounds of night terrors.

Night can be scary for a little one. They are in their most vulnerable state. Memories can surface, the loss of a parent, the loss of a home, the loss of a womb mate, the loss of everything familiar. Those memories would cause a disturbance in any of us. We would seek comfort, the knowledge that we are not alone. We would want to know that we are loved.

Because I don't know what causes the cry, I get out of bed and trudge down the stairs to comfort him. He needs his sleep. It is my job to make sure that he feels safe and secure enough to sleep. There are times when the only comfort I can give is a place in my bed.

There are those who would judge me. You are doing it wrong. He needs to learn to sleep on his own. He should cry it out. I've heard those voices, sometimes in my own head but I know they are wrong. I know what I am doing is right for right now. It won't last forever. He has only been home for eight months, he needs this. I need this.

So there are nights when he wakes multiple times and I only see three, four or five hours of sleep. Sometimes several nights in a row. Sometimes I can't remember when I last slept more than two hours in a row.

But there are nights, more common now, when he will sleep for eight or nine hours in a row. These are the nights which give me hope. These are the nights in which I can dream.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Two years ago today in a land 7900 miles away, a little Lion cub was born.

This Lion cub endured unimaginable heartbreak and loss which would have broken even the strongest person. But he was not broken. He is strong. He is resilient. He is a survivor. We, who are lucky enough to be a part of his life, are touched and made stronger by his spirit, his enthusiasm and his love.

Today at two, he is the epitome of boy. He jumps. He runs. He throws his body around with reckless abandon just because he can. He loves cars and trains. Oh how he loves trains. He worships the ground his sister walks on and often he tries to tackle her to that ground.

Today, I think about how lucky I am to be his mother. He is just so full of life, so full of love. I am truly so blessed to have him place his hand on my face and call me momma. I want to savor this moment forever, to keep him just the way his right now. But I also cannot wait to meet the boy and man he is to become. I cannot wait for him to finally learn more words so I can hear what is on his mind and in his heart. I cannot wait to be present for all of his discoveries, all of his firsts.

Today I also remember. I remember the birthdays I missed. I remember a man, quiet and proud. I remember a man whose heart was broken with loss. I remember a man who loved so deeply. I remember a man who trusted us to raise his son. I love that man with all of my heart. I want thank him and let him know that Lion is a fine and wonderful little boy. I will make sure that he always remembers you.

I also remember a woman and a boy I never met. A woman and a little boy who didn't get the chance to be here today. I carry them with me in my heart and know that they are looking down on Lion today. To the woman, I say thank you. I say I love you. I say hug the little boy you have with you and know that I will do the same to the little boy I have with me. To the little boy, I say I would have loved the chance to know you, to be your mom. I will make sure that Lion always remembers the both of you.

My Lion, your Lion is two today.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Happier Place

We here on the western shores of Lake Michigan are bracing for a bone rattling blizzard tonight. You know it's going to be bad when they cancel school for tomorrow before noon today. Well at least some schools are going to be closed, so far ours is open.

But I really don't want to think about snow. I'd rather think about warmer weather, sunshine, the beach anything but snow. In order to take myself to a happier place, I am going to post some photos I took at the Domes over the weekend (if you are not from Milwaukee, the Domes are our botanical gardens housed in three separate domes).

I feel warmer and happier already (which is ironic because I always cry when we visit the Domes).