I Believe

Do you ever have the feeling you’re not alone, even when you are?

I had that feeling a lot when I was a teenager. When I took Developmental Psych in college, I found out that was a normal part of being a teenager: feeling like someone is always watching you. Thankfully, I grew out of that.

I guess what I’m talking about is something more. When my first child was a newborn, we were left alone most nights because of my husband’s work schedule. She wasn’t the easiest newborn, and I had a difficult time managing a new lifestyle AND a colicky baby. She didn’t want to sleep in her bed, and I couldn’t sleep in my bed with out my husband, so I would air up our air mattress and camp out in the living room with my baby in my arms. One night, I was too tired to air up the mattress, and we feel asleep in front of the TV on the floor.

I’m a great floor sleeper, and the older my daughter gets the more I realize she’s pretty awesome at it too.

Anyway, as I drifted in and out of sleep I found myself near-tears. I was SO tired. I was SO tired and I didn’t want to sleep because I wasn’t putting my baby to bed the RIGHT way (according to all of the experts). I tried forcing myself to stay awake to check on her, but I’d spent the day holding a screaming baby. I hadn’t gotten any good food or any good rest and I couldn’t think straight. My NEWBORN baby girl was lying, tightly swaddled, on a blanket on the floor next to me. What kind of a mother leaves a NEWBORN on the floor? Well, I did. I wasn’t more than a foot away, but mothering guilt is enough to do anyone in.

Then -right then -I had one of those “I can’t do this anymore” moments. The guilt, the screaming, the lack of food, the lack of sleep… it was all mounting and sending me into an infinite fit of irrationality.
What I mean is: OF COURSE I could handle it. OF COURSE I could do it. Looking back, I can see that now. But right in that moment, it felt like my little world was just caving in on me. And that’s when I felt it.
Right then, I felt the presence of something. I felt instant relief over not being totally alone, and I drifted off to sleep somehow feeling that everything would be all right.

And it was.
And it is.

That little newborn is three now, and she STILL sleeps on the floor. In fact, if I move her to her bed she will usually find her way to the floor. More often than not, I’ve fallen asleep there anyway. It’s hard for moms not to crash at the end of the day.

Actually, last night I crashed on the couch. We sat down as a family to watch “Two Mules for Sister Sarah” (a movie I recommend to the masses, so long as they don’t mind some swearing). My husband fell asleep. I started to fall asleep. My daughter fell asleep. My son fell asleep. I pulled myself off the couch and put the kids in PJs and into their beds. I turned off lights and ate a few things I shouldn’t have. I thought about crawling into bed next to my husband, but our bed creaks loudly when someone crawls into it. He was tired (only a few days into the week, and he had already worked 40 hours), and I really didn’t want to wake him up.
So I pushed my crocheting I had been working on off the couch and I crumbled into the thick blankets we had been snuggling in.

Just before I closed my eyes, I could tell I wasn’t alone.

I only mention all of this because I’d like to think I’m not the only one -and I’d also like to think I’m not the only one who isn’t royally creeped out over it. I guess it’s because there’s something comforting about the presences I feel. I don’t feel like “someone’s WATCHING ME” so much as I feel like “someone’s watching OVER me.” And I’m really okay with that, because I need help! I know there’s got to be a swarm of folks helping our family out. All of the falls that should have been… the head-bonks that should have been… that one time my husband should have hit the deer that ran in front of him on the road… someone had to have stepped in and helped out.

I’ve always believed that we’re not alone.
I just wish I knew who to personally thank when I get up there.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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