Looking Back: Confession Of The Night

Kathy Simonds, Illinois

Editor’s Note: Published in the July-August 1981 issue of La Leche League News. The first issue of La Leche League News, the bimonthly publication for members, was published in 1958. The name changed to New Beginnings in 1985. New Beginnings continued to be published by La Leche League International until it was transferred to LLL USA in 2010. In 2014, it transitioned to its current blog format at www.lllusa.org/blog/.

Woman is holding, looking down, and smiling at the nursing baby.I was so sleepy after a long and busy day, but you weren’t at all. You were content and full, oblivious to the clock ticking away in those wee hours. No snuggling off to sleep together that night; you wanted to play. Half-heartedly, I complied. I talked, I sang, we did “sit-ups” and “leg stretches.” We walked, rocked, bounced, and sat still. Another hour passed by and you were still wide-eyed. My resentment mounted. My offered breast held no sandman charm that night.

You wanted to “talk” and insisted on a two-way conversation. The clock said 3:30 a.m., and my eyes were red and itchy. My jaw was tightly clamped, and my patience lay in shreds. All I could consider was that you were keeping me up all night. Tomorrow would be another full day with you and your brothers, and I wondered how I’d cope with no sleep.

I held you away from me, when suddenly your eyes crinkled warmly and your mouth turned up into your big, funny, “O” smile and a gleeful squeal delighted the silent night. So confident of my eternal love that you couldn’t even imagine anything else. Your grin continued, and another squeal. I could feel the frustration flow out of my heart and disappear into the hot summer air. And I had to join you, laughing out loud, welling up with love so much greater than the frustration could ever be. I held you close, and joyfully we rocked as you slowly melted into my shoulder. Within minutes you were sound asleep. And then, dear little one, I didn’t want to put you down.

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