Thursday, May 19, 2011

No More Goodbyes

"Goodnight, my angel... now it's time to sleep. But still so many things I want to say." -Billy Joel

This is killing me. Absolutely killing me.

I can no longer go into my daughter's room in the morning and kiss her goodbye before I leave for work and whisper "I love you" in her ear.

Her sleep cycle is apparently changing, meaning two things. First, she's waking up earlier - some days A LOT earlier. It's obnoxious, really... especially on the weekends (but we're spoiled... she's always been a good sleeper). Second, we may have to start phasing out her afternoon nap (also heartbreaking, but for a whole different reason - that's a subject for another post).

My wife and I talked about it. We both decided that our daughter needs the extra hour or so of sleep that she wasn't getting when she was waking up at the buttcrack of ridiculous, which is shortly after I leave for work. So now I will have to settle for comforting her in her dreams instead of rustling her awake during my brief visit. My wife needs the extra sleep too. Don't we all?

My heart would always fill with a sort of nervous anticipation... like you feel the moment before you go on stage. I'd stand outside her door and in that split second I'd think, "make it count because you're not going to see her for 12 hours." I'd also be anxious to see what ridiculous position I'd find her in: butt in the air? Mouth open or shut? Limbs spread like an eagle? Using a book as a pillow?

This morning her door was cracked. So I considered going in there. I figured, I won't make any noise opening the door, so maybe she won't wake up. I didn't chance it. I peeked in through the crack. I caught a glimpse of her little sleepy face, still seemingly off in dreamland. I still didn't go in. Mouth open, of course. She was laying sort of on her right side, caddy-corner to her pillow. Her butt was in the air... staring at me.

"I love you, sweetheart. Have a good day," I thought to myself as I turned down the hall and headed for the stairs.

God how I miss this ritual with her. This ritual she probably doesn't even know about. When I did tell her about it, she could only take my word for it and know that daddy is the first person who sees her everyday. The first person who loves her every day.

I quietly slip downstairs and get ready for work.

Then, according to my wife, I slam the door on my way out, shaking the house to its foundation.


  1. I hear you. I used to bitch about having to lay next to my daughter for up to 30 minutes until she'd finally fall asleep. Now, I'd really like to have a few of those quiet minutes with her back.

    Cheers, friend.

  2. Blah. I know the feeling. That was part of my ritual when my first-born was a wee one; one that I'm sure he doesn't remember or even know about. Now quit slamming that door.


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