This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

Rocking My Baby to Sleep

I’ve never been very big on “babyhood.” Anyone who knows me has probably heard me rant at least once about how I’ve never been nostalgic for my kids to be babies again, how the older they get, the happier I get, and how I absolutely am finished at two kids.

So, I surprised myself last night when I put “The Bachelorette” on pause to rock Anna to sleep.

She’d been crying on and off in her room for about 45 minutes and hadn’t been feeling well since Sunday, when she came down with a runny nose. (I’m taking her to 002the doctor this afternoon to see if she has yet another ear infection, which would mean tubes.)

Usually, I’d be incredibly frustrated that she couldn’t go to sleep on her own. I would probably have let her cry a little bit longer, gone in, picked up her now-chopped pacifier and handed it to her, given her a few, consoling “shh’s” for good measure, and returned to my show. I don’t know if it was because this is a really awful season of “The Bachelorette” or if her cries were especially mournful last night, but I crept into her room, picked her up and rocked with her in the rocking chair just like I used to do when she was a baby.

I felt nostalgic.

I stared lovingly at her chubby, little face and marveled at her perfect, tiny mouth. I pretended she was still a baby and held her like one, her body crushed against mine, her breath hot against my arm.

I’m not sure why, but Anna didn’t close her eyes. She stared right back at me, and we rocked there like that for a good 20 minutes, just staring at each other, taking everything in.

It was nice. Holding my baby in my arms and rocking with her felt peaceful and right. I thought about how she’ll be 2 in just a few weeks, and how I won’t be able to rock her for much longer, how my babies really aren’t babies anymore and I can’t do as much to protect them. I thought of the story I’d just read about the 19 firefighters who had been killed trying to control the wildfire in Arizona and how some of them likely had children they’d never get to see again, and how all of them had mothers.

001Until I was a mother I never realized how fierce love can be. Most days, I’m too busy trying to keeping up with our over-scheduled lives to take time to simply enjoy my children and relish the fact that for now, I’m always there to watch out for them, to keep them safe. I like to be in control, and I don’t like to think about the time in the not-so-distant future when my children will be beyond my grasp, at the mercy of their fates and an often-cruel world.

I know I try to shut out all of the bad in the world and keep my family in a bubble most of the time, but it’s nice to be reminded every once in awhile not to take our blessings for granted. That the world can be scary and unforgiving, and the best thing we can do to prepare our children for it is to let them know they’re loved.

That those moments when we stopped our escapist TV to love them are the ones we’ll remember, and the moments we didn’t the ones we’ll never let ourselves forget.


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  1. OK Colleen, you were making me tear up there! I have those little moments with Nolan, also reminds me to slow down a little and cherish the now. Also, I am sure you have heard from 100 other people but…..I highly recommend the tubes, we are going on a year and a half now with no ear infections!

    • Colleen says:

      It’s hard to remember to slow down sometimes, isn’t it? And I agree about the tubes, but Anna didn’t end up having an ear infection this time, so we’ll see. Thanks for posting! :o)

      • That is a relief. Hopefully she will stay healthy! Perhaps she just wanted the extra time with her momma :)

  2. I really loved this post and so related to it. As a buys mom of three sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the day that at night I just want my darlings in bed. But then I have a moment like you did and I realize that I just have to slow it down a bit so that I can enjoy those moments when I’m really connecting with my children. I’m so glad you and your baby had that and I hope she feels better soon! Colds and ear infections are two things that I too am way to familiar with. And they really do make the kids so uncomfortable!! Especially in the summer when they just want to be running around and in the water! Hope it passes soon and thank you for a wonderful and honest post about motherhood.

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