I’ve seen the moon.
I’ve seen the moon laying on the bonnet of my car, smoking a joint with a friend, laughing about life.
I’ve looked at the moon with its bright yellow face, ‘a land made of cheese…’ A night light; a friendly bright light that I’m grateful for, to guide me as I walk to my porch coming home from a night of ciggies and vodka lemonades… too many wines and too many laughs as I fumble for my key.
The moon was such a whimsical thing, one I couldn’t wait to see… the brighter the better. The more bright the more beautiful.
But tonight like many nights… I see the moon. I see the moon, but not in the way it used to be.
The moon now is the bright light that shines into the room…a room filled with books, and stuffed toys, blocks that spell out names, stickers on walls… one that shines on two bright eyes that I wait so desperately to close.
I don’t want to see the moon anymore. I want to sleep. I want to give into what my body wants, and sleep.
I don’t want to hold hands, I don’t want to tap, I don’t want to rock, don’t want hum to him quietly. I don’t want to look at the moon and wonder if there really is a face there, or if it really is made of cheese. I don’t want to despise you, moon… but I’m starting to.
So many times I’ve held these little hands through the bars, waiting for them to go limp. Holding in all my breath as I walk out and close the door, feeling the rush of anxiety all over my body as I gentle shut it.
Sometimes I don’t make it back to bed, sometimes we have to start all over again.
He knows the nights I’m alone, because those are the nights I can’t leave. Those are the nights I’m silent but I’m screaming, screaming so loud internally I can’t help but let tears be my voice.
There’s no more sympathy when your child gets older and doesn’t sleep. You talk about it so much people look at you like you’re the problem. Like you are keeping him awake, or missing a point.
I was told “just let him cry”… but how can I? The cries get louder and the anxiety gets stronger. The feeling of guilt gets louder too, and I imagine the scenario of 20 years from now, him telling me he hates me because of all the childhood trauma I put him through all in the name of sleep. I can’t do it. It’s the guilt. I can’t listen to it without it making me feel like I’ve taken a line of speed. I don’t like the feeling.
I was told, “sleep in the bed together”… I’ve been kicked in the face, pushed and prodded and had a little milk breath voice whisper “hey” too many times to know that it doesn’t work.
He needs a routine, he needs less naps during the day, he needs more naps, he needs a cold bath, he needs the heater, he needs…. no. No what he needs is to go the f to sleep okay?
What I need is sleep.
I know his tired signs, I know the benefits of routine, I give him a bath, I do EVERYTHING THE BOOKS TELL ME… but I just have a child who doesn’t sleep.
Maybe, it’s him… not me.
Kinda like when you break up, it’s not you – oh it is you kid, it’s definitely you. I’m all for the sleep. You’re just not getting the memo.
I wonder how many other mothers hate the moon? I wonder if I’m the only person in the world who feels like this… because all I hear is people complaining of their kids waking up at 5am – “how can I get my baby to sleep from 8 till 8?” They ask… oh what I’d give to see 5am from 8… What I’d give…
But I know dear Moon, we have unfinished business yet…
I know the day will come when I’m staring at you, through my wrinkled eyes, travelling the world, sailing across seas… who knows where I will be…(hopefully drinking vodka lemonades) but I’ll be remembering the days when I had a little hand to hold, patiently waiting for those beautiful eyes to close… humming and tapping, praying for sleep, and your light shining down on us through the little cracks of the blinds at the window… I know I’ll look at you with a hint of sadness, because I’ll miss the days when I was so needed and so loved.
But for now moon, i’ll hate you, because I’m tired and that’s 40 years away. I know you’ll be there with your smiling face, and your mystery land of cheese, there beautiful bright moon, there to say I told you so.