I love nights like tonight, when I actually have enough presence and peace of mind to really focus on Emmy's bedtime ritual.
Ever since Emmy was born, getting her to sleep has been a challenge. We sort of unintentionally fell into co-sleeping with our daughter, and that definitely caused our quest to get Emmy to sleep in her own crib a whirlwind adventure. But at least since she turned one year old, we have been quite steadfast in at least getting her to start the night out in her crib. Em has agreed to our plan, contingent on our rocking her and singing to her for at least a good 10 - 15 (or 20. ok, sometimes 30) minutes prior to bedtime.
There are nights when, I am ashamed to say, I don't "give my all" to Em's pre-bedtime lullabyes and snuggles. Sometimes I am singing words, but also thinking about grocery lists, or my budget for the week, or what I will be doing at work the next day. Sometimes I kind of try to rush things along because one of my favorite tv programs is going to be on, or because I just really need some end-of-the-day-down-time that is self-focused (ugh. i'm not a huge fan of myself in the aftermath of those evenings). And then there are nights like tonight, when I really don't have much to distract me, when I've had a complete and wonderful day with Em, when I have no particular tv program to look forward to, and I can TOTALLY focus on singing and hugging my baby girl to sleep. yayyyyyyy.
tonight i chose lullabyes that were meaningful (some my mother would sing to me or my sisters, others which just have wonderful lyrics) and really sang them to Emmy, interrupting only to kiss her on the cheeks and forehead. I held her so close, with her ear right up to my heart, and I just GAVE IT MY ALL.
I end every pre-bedtime the same way, singing the prayer I used to sing-song as a kid during MY pre-bedtime ritual, as I transition Emmy from my arms to her crib. On some nights, I am sort of relieved to finally be putting her down for the evening, so I can go squeeze in a few "me" moments before she wakes up and cries, wanting to be held again. Tonight, I was in no hurry to put her down. I really felt like I could have just rocked her and sung to her forever.