Milestone wake-ups and the magic of slumber / by Christina Rosalie

As I lie in the semi dark with my son waiting for his breath to settle into the rhythm of sleep, I wonder about the bigness of his small self. So much more than the tiny bundle of limbs, soft and warm curled in the nook of my arm. One look into his big beautiful eyes and I find myself swimming in the wide pools of his spirit.

It amazes me that something as vital and natural as sleep is something we have to learn. Of course, there are the times when exhaustion overcomes him and he sinks, sack-like into a deep sleep wherever he is. But on a nightly basis letting go of his body---surrendering to the tide of sleep is not something he knows---I must teach him how to still his active little body. Find a rhythm. Breath in sleep.

Each time his body works itself through a sleep cycle, the neurons in his brain send him the busy active messages his body is reading all day: stand, stand, stand, they say. Reach. Climb. Walk. Before I come to bed he sleeps in his crib, and usually I hear him cry out at least once. I come to find him awake in the dark, standing. Then I nurse him, hold him close, allowing the tide of my breath to wash over him, carrying him back to the world of sleep.

Sometimes in these long moments with him in the dark I realize that I am at the cusp of one of the mysteries of being human. Wonder saturates me each time he awakens, trailing the stardust of dreams, a smile blooming at the corners of his eyes.