I wake with a start and rush to my crying boy. Through the sobs, I am eventually able to make out something about a monster under the bed. He has had another nightmare, and is visibly shaken this time. I pull him close and rock gently from side to side, doing my best to soothe his tears. He sinks into my embrace, and I can feel his breathing- at first rapid and uneven- gradually return to its slow, steady rhythm. A sense of peace and calm envelopes us both as we sit there in the dark. Suddenly, I am humbled by this little child of mine. He believes in me, trusts me with his whole heart. To him, Mama can make anything better. No matter what monsters loom in the darkness, his Mama will protect him. Within just minutes, he is asleep in my arms.
Sometimes it is overwhelming, the weight of this responsibility that parenthood brings. If only the task of protecting my children could always be this easy. If only the scariest monsters my children will ever face are the imaginary ones under the bed… I wish there were some way I could always protect them, but I know there will be times when I cannot be there, monsters to big and too scary for even Mama. So I hold them while I can, teach them what I can, love them for always; preparing them the best I can for the big, wide, wonderful but sometimes terrifying world out there.
Sweet dreams, Little One.