Beck woke with a start in his crib. His cries grew stronger as I tried fruitlessly to ignore him and read my book. When it was obvious that he wouldn't settle himself, I stood, shut off most of the lights in the living room, kitchen and hall and walked into the dark.
His door opened with a pop and I couldn't tell if he cried harder because comfort was so close or if his cries just seemed louder now that I was in the room with him. He was sitting up in bed, a thing I couldn't see as my eyes adjusted to the dark. Instead, I felt his contour lines--like a blind person--making sure he hadn't stuffed his leg in between the crib slats, before I picked him up.
His sobbing quieted as I cradled him. I reached back into the crib for Bob--his blanket--only to realize Beck already had him by a corner. Beck laid his head on my shoulder and I rocked back and forth in the air, longing for a rocking chair upstairs. I thought briefly of crossing the house and going down the stairs where we have 3 rocking chairs, but the light was still on in the entry way and the TV was on downstairs and all that walking would further rouse Beck rather than settle him.
I remember a couple of nights ago calming another night terror by bringing Beck to bed with me for a few minutes. He'd laid next to me, head on my chest, sucking his two middle fingers on his left hand and stroking my face with his right. His chubby fingers had explored my face, periodically sticking them in my mouth or up my nose, but most caressing my cheek and chin.
I crept out of his room where the light from the entry way made him blink even though it was so far away. I quickly entered my room and sat at the edge of the bed and rocked back and forth. I wiped the tears off his cheeks and listened to his breathing relax. He was asleep again in moments, sucking on his fingers and allowing me to play with his soft, chubby right hand.
He huffed as I stood. I was reluctant to put him back in bed--to let go of him at all--but I also knew that the sooner he was in bed the better he would sleep. I could have sat and held him forever. Reason prevailed and I walked sideways past my dresser, not knowing in the dark how close I was. If I were to accidentally bump it, I wanted my back and not Beck's head to come in contact with a hard, sharp surface. I opened my door with one finger, but the movement woke Beck a little and he lifted his head. By the time we crossed the faint light in the hallway and reentered the darkness of his room, I'd coaxed Beck's head onto my shoulder.
Carefully, I laid him in the crib making sure his blanket didn't drape on his face and frighten him all over again. He looked at me and I felt his arm with a single stroke, silently wishing him better dreams and a good night's sleep.
Ah, my baby. It wrenches my heart to know that there will be only so many more moments like this. He's growing so quickly. I must cherish every one.