It was late. I was exhausted and here I was walking my one-year old child back and forth in the room. My child, you see, is a walker. She loves motion and always has since she was born. More than likely this is because her mommy was always on the go, even in pregnancy.
At first, bouncing her in her bouncer seat worked and then it was the swing, the rocking, and finally walking. For whatever reason, it’s typically the only way I can get her to sleep. And while some may criticize me for it, I can’t say that I mind it too much. Unless I’m very, very tired as I was today.
I had worked a 15 hour day and was looking forward to eating a hot meal (rare with a young child) and going to bed as early as I could. She simply didn’t want to sleep. I gritted my teeth, thought angry thoughts at the universe at large, and was debating the wisdom of adding a small amount of whiskey to her bottle. (Don’t worry folks, thinking only not doing).
So I took a breath and noticed how tense I was. Very likely she was feeling that tension and getting fussier as a result. I did some deep breathing, closed my eyes as I walked and just walked. Breath in. Walk. Turn. Breathe out. Walk. Turn. Gradually she quieted and started joining me in my deep breathing, looking around the room in fascination.
As I was walking and breathing, I started to think about all the other mommies and daddies out there facing this very same thing at the same moment I was. Some were facing it in a much larger room and perhaps on stone flooring. Some were walking outside in the night air, the wind helping to cool their child’s skin. Some were maybe walking them in the midst of noisy city sounds; hoping a car honk wouldn’t wake the child.
Deeper still I thought. How men and women had been doing this throughout time. In the last few centuries, both in war and in peace. In medieval times, in times before there was time. How beautiful it was to know I was not alone. I looked down then and saw my little girl’s peaceful face, transformed with the wisp of a smile.
How bonded we are at the sound of a baby’s cry and the warmth of our love.
Kelly is a mother of a feisty two-year-old and married to a wonderful gamer husband. She has a business blog about compassionate leadership at thewayofaleader.wordpress.com. She writes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in her spare time.