The little one has woken up again and is now wide awake and wanting to play.
I go into her room and ask her what is wrong.
“Sing a song” she replies.
It’s the middle of the night. For my whole life I have been asleep at this hour but now I am being asked to sing a song by my little girl.
And yet I smile.
She has the sweetest voice. How can I say no?
I climb into bed with her and stroke her hair and face.
“What song do you want?”
“Hush little baby”. Of course. It’s always hush little baby. To think I used to worry about remembering the words.
I sing the song to her. She completes each sentence with the right words.
Her hair and face are soft and I feel for the first time in my life like I am useful. I am settling my little girl back to sleep. I am a mother.
I finish the song despite my dry mouth and sleepy eyes.
And that is fine because all I want to do right now is cuddle her (closely followed by a strong desire to sleep), to hold her close, to make her feel safe.
She climbs onto my chest, wraps her arms around me and strokes and pats my arm.
I am happy and content and so is she.
A tear forms in the corner of my eye as I let the emotions engulf me. As I think about how I would have loved to do this with Adam too. How I never got the chance.
This always happens. In the early hours, when I’m comforting her, I miss him most.
She rolls off back into her bed and snuggles up to her teddies and her massive dummy collection.
I think for the 100th time how I need to take them away from her. But not yet. She only has them at night. I want sleep more than I want the battle.
“Can I go back to bed now? I’m tired”
“Night night mummy”
“Night night sweetie. See you in the morning. Sleep tight, don’t let the…”
“…bed bugs bite”
I close the door gently and tiptoe back to my room. I climb in to bed and listen to her settling down over the baby monitor.