Gabriel slept in his crib throughout his infancy. I put him to sleep there, and there he would stay until maybe five, six o'clock in the morning, when he would start chirping and squawking, and I would bring him into bed with me and let him nurse, while I dozed until I was truly ready to start my day. I relish in snuzzling a warm baby as much as the next girl, but I was not interested in co-sleeping. Ever or at all.
When Gabriel was 15 months old, we moved out of our apartment with K. I went from being a stay-at-home mom to working full time. Gabriel went from spending his days with me to spending his days with a stranger. He went from living with both of his parents to living with only one.
When we moved, Gabriel started sleeping with me, he rekindled his practically extinguished interest in nursing, he reattached.
That was okay.
I did eventually wean him. It wasn't a traumatic event. At the time his father was more...around, and he was spending a couple nights a week there anyways, and as we settled into our new life, that just happened naturally.
The sleeping hasn't really changed.
Gabriel spends 10 hours a day at preschool. During the week, we see each other for perhaps 4 hours a day (maximum), and 2 or 3 of those hours are spent with getting dressed and ready in the morning, with eating dinner, taking a bath, getting into bed at night. I fervently believe that we don't see each other enough, and there's simply nothing I can do about that. Bills don't pay themselves, and I don't get any consistent financial help.
At night though. In bed. Sure we're both asleep, and we're dreaming about different things and we're in our own worlds and we're not spending time together, sure. But I roll over onto my side, and he's there. I check the clock, and he's curled up against me warm and safe. He wakes up for a sip of water, he opens his eyes and rolls over onto his tummy, and I'm there. It feels like we're stealing extra hours in our impossibly short days. And in the middle of the night, when he reaches over to brush my cheek so lightly, to hold my hand, to touch me and make sure I'm still there? There's no dinner to get on the table, no laundry to fold, no go go we're late let's go. It's just us.
Gabriel will be three in a couple weeks.
He's not a baby anymore. He's a kid.
Since shortly before Christmas, Gabriel's been sleeping in his own bed.
He wakes up a couple times during the night, sometimes panicked, sometimes sad, but I'm just in the next room, and generally he's been very good about it, sleeping by himself until it's practically daylight, and only then sneaking into bed with me for a stolen snuggle, for the shared warmth.
He seems to be okay.
This was a choice I made, because I know he's getting to be too big for this baby stuff.
But I miss him.