Tonight the Noodle was having a bit of trouble going to sleep. It happens from time to time, and it reminds me of the times my mum would come in when I was six or seven, and she would lie down next to me and stroke my hair and sometimes sing quietly and sometimes she would go to sleep before I did, but when I woke up she would be gone.
It reminds me of when the Noodle was a tiny baby, and patting him gently on the 'nappy area' until he fell asleep and the husband and I used to take it in turns night by night because if one of us had to do it every night we would've gone crazy because just before the Noodle fell totally asleep he'd just wake up and get alert for a moment, and it was nearly enough to make a person cry because we were all just so tired. And then one night when it was my turn I had to rush to the toilet after I'd put the baby down in his cot and when I came back he was asleep. The Noodle never was one of those babies that you could move around much when he was asleep. If he fell asleep in your arms, there he stayed or awake he was. So him falling asleep by himself in his cot was a Big Big Thing. Because we were all so tired.
And then later he needed help to go to sleep in the afternoon for his nap, because if he didn't have a nap things became rather unpleasant for him and everyone else on the planet so it was quite rather very important to get him to snooze. And I would stroke his back if his back was towards me or stroke his hair gently over and over again but only in very slow four four time because otherwise it didn't work. And I would sing. Sometimes it had to be the same song, over and over and over again, Silent Night perhaps, over and over again until it turned into something like si-i-i-i-it o-o-o-o-i-i-i-t and he would finally snork off to snory sleep. And sometimes it was a medley of favourites (not all in four four time even though the stroking had to be) and you had to make sure not to repeat one because he would notice and that would wake him up and you had to make sure not stop too soon because that would wake him up. But by this time once he was actually asleep you could have invited the entire cast of Sesame Street to re-enact the Sesame Street Singalong next to his ear and he would not have stirred. Which was nice.
And then once when he was very sick he just wanted me to sing O come all ye faithful, and I remembered that just after he was born I was thinking that the song was for every child, because when they are born that is what we do. We come from far and wide to adore them, and we are joyful at their birth. And when the Noodle was born I did feel triumphant, and I don't think only God should get the fun of that feeling, I think every parent should have it and every baby should be adored.
But now when I sing that song to him he is not sick and I remember how sick he was and I am so glad that he is not sick now. And how lucky I am to adore him still (even though I've never quite managed to recapture that triumphant feeling again).