It has been a long time since Violet came into our room in the middle of the night. Her sleeping habits, albeit aren't great, have drastically improved over the year. She still requires our presence to fall asleep but we aren't having to sooth her to sleep. My poor daughter has issues falling to sleep and has a deep fear of the dark. I blame this on some bad advice that we tried to follow when she was an infant. You know the advice - let them cry themselves to sleep while you check on them every few minutes. Yeah, THAT advice! Instead of encouraging our daughter to be able to fall asleep on her own, we scared her so badly that it's taken us over six years to get her to sleep a whole night in her room. If only I could go back in time and burn that book the moment it graced our hands!
Violet still enjoys her lullabies at bedtime. Who wouldn't want to fall asleep to songs that were written, or altered, specifically for you? Songs that express how deeply you were wanted, how sincerely you are cherished, and remind you of what an incredible blessing you are to those who love you? Yes, these lullabies are a nightly ritual for our little family and I am going to miss them terribly once Violet feels she's "too old for such childish things". I can see that day coming in the not-so-far-distance. And to be quite honest with you, my heart is not prepared for that day. It will be a painful moment in my life but one that is incredibly important for Violet's life. She's growing up so fast and is slowly changing things in her life. The younger toys are being pushed aside for her Liv dolls and Transformers. She is creating more things with her Lego kits. Flopsy, her trusted bunny that has been with her from the beginning, is the only thing with staying power. Flopsy has been taken to school a few times this year and she travels with us on every big trip. She was even the first thing I was asked about when I was home alone one day and we had an emergency evacuation due to flooding that set off the fire alarms in an apartment across from us. "Mommy, did you take Flopsy out with you? Was she safe too?" and I honestly told her,"Yes, I took Flopsy with me!" I had forgotten a ton of things that day but I hadn't forgotten Violet's most cherished possession.
I know this time with Violet is fleeting. My heart feels it coming, and my mind even tells me it's a good thing - I know that and understand it. But I am terribly unprepared for that day. As a parent you rejoice with your child as they meet each milestone. The goal is that you've raised a child into a healthy, independent adult who will make their mark on this world. But how do you prepare yourself for the day they leave the nest? Each new milestone that's met is a little bitter sweet. They show you're doing something right, your child is getting it, but they also step a little further from you each time. They pull away. And it hurts. It's good. But it hurts.
I have a feeling that I'll be spending a lot of time with Flopsy then. Holding her in my arms while recalling every image of Violet holding her, snuggling her under her chin as she slept, and how she would hold Flopsy by one ear as she sleepily made her way to our room in the middle of the night. In the meantime though, I plan to savor and cherish every moment with this precious gift God gave us in a child! For she is truly a gift from our Father in heaven, created specifically for me and Gregg. He decided we were worthy of this blessing and we are incredibly thankful.