On your first night with us, I lay awake and listened to make sure you were breathing. Every breath-in and out-was a miracle. I was exhausted, but I couldn't close my eyes. I watched each yawn and stretch in amazement.
When you were little, you would wake us in the middle of the night because you were hungry. One of us would stumble wearily into your room swearing that this phase would never end. We'd feed you your bottle and rock you back to sleep through heavy eyelids. We'd watch for your milk drunk smiles and heavy breathing before putting you back in your crib and throwing ourselves back into bed.
As you got older, you would wake less. You no longer needed the bottle to help you get back to sleep. You needed us. We would rock you, sing to you, and pace your room hoping that you would go back to sleep quickly.
Some nights when the rocking and the singing didn't work, I would crawl into your crib with you. I'd nestle you into my arm and rub your forehead while you settled in. You fell asleep quickly in my arms and I'd lie awake listening to your deep sighs.
As you got older still, you only needed us at night when you were sick. Your raspy little cry could wake me even from a deep sleep. I'd scoop you out of bed and set up camp in the guest room. You'd toss and turn while I rubbed your back and worried that your fever was too high. When you finally fell asleep, I'd lay awake hoping that you'd feel better in the morning.
It's been three months since you've cried out for us in the middle of the night. You just got over a cold and you didn't cry for me once while you were sleeping. I'm well rested, but I miss you. I miss your heavy breathing and deep sighs. I miss your raspy cry and the feeling of rubbing your forehead. I miss the feeling of you cuddled in my arms.