Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I Lie With You Until You Are Asleep: A Sonnet

I lie with you until you are asleep,
Ten minutes, twenty, thirty, often more,
Clocks tick, frustration builds, yet still I keep,
And stay with you on your side of the door.
Out there, my old life tempts, a voice cries, "Fail!",
And tells me there are better things to do,
Release: the world shrinks down, we both exhale,
And drift together, touching souls, we two.
In age, perhaps, you'll do the same for me,
And hold my papery hand, and stroke my hair,
You'll know the worth of love's proximity,
The gift we give by simply being there.
  A final kiss, a sigh, a comfort deep:
  I lie with you until you are asleep.







If sonnets about parenting peel your potato, see here for another: Sometimes I Pass the Place Where We Once Lived.




32 comments:

  1. Aww that's so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. You really have such a gift to word things in such a heartfelt way. And you always seem to express exactly the way I feel... The old life calling, but staying because you can't bear not to. It's perfect.

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  2. You just made me cry! love it!

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    1. Nice to make people cry - for the right reasons! x

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  3. Made me cry like a baby :) I want to freeze time so it stands still and I can always stay with my little girl until she falls asleep :) <3

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    1. Me too - although I do find it frustrating at times (actually make that often!) I wouldn't have it any other way) x

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  4. Very touching, I do the same. You've captured the essence xx

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  5. Argh. Ok. I did this. I honestly did this. My non-feral, breastfed-until-self-weaned-at-three-and-a-half, slung, co-sleeping, co-operative child, has turned into an utter shit at night (and I don't say that lightly, but I'm stressed to high-heaven). She talks, she won't stop, she messes around, she keeps her eyes open. She's knackered, she could fall asleep within 10 minutes if she chose to. She's literally just pissing around. I get it's normal, I get it's age-appropriate and boy, do I love that kid. But I won't be a martyr to her all my damn life. My husband died about 4 and a half months ago (and it is NOT that - she's absolutely fine, was just 3 when it happened). But the point is, I need my evenings. I need some life. When in hell's name am I supposed to get out if by 8 I feel like it's getting on and I can't really summon up the energy after sitting in the dark for 45 minutes being uber-patient (oh I get it, I'm meant to be so consumed by my biological callings that I only care about her needs). I don't give one what the reasons she's playing up are for - sure that it's habit, sure it's age-appropriate, nursery, whatever. The point is, it's not ok and it f*cking well upsets me. I end up screaming at her and I NEVER wanted to do this! I just want her to go to sleep. We have routine etc. There has to be another way! TO NOT be a SLAVE to my child! I DO ENOUGH dudes, I do enough! And every day I read articles that send me in to further confusion about how I shouldn't sit her on the step (when she hits me in the face - well thank you!) because it will lower her self-esteem and then god well I wouldn't want that because then she'll end up like the mess I am as I desperately try and right the wrongs of my parents before me to prevent the cycle of shit that wrong parenting wreaks.

    Today we played, I cycled with her, There was lots of attention and fun. I was lovely, gentle, firm...and then bedtime - it's a joke! And it sends me into a psychotic rage which makes me feel that the past 3 years of trying to fulfill all her fundamental needs are a joke and that the last thing she'll remember is me screaming in her face to 'shut up'. FFS!

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    1. Elaine, I would very much like it if you would get in touch with me, and I will see if I can give you help or support.
      I totally understand your struggle and I have got really fed up with waiting for my own children to go to sleep MANY times believe me. It is not always idyllic.
      I published this comment because I am very much hoping that you will get in touch.
      Hugs to you for now
      My email is mamamule@hotmail.co.uk

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    2. Elaine - I have gone through similar frustrations and feelings. I am sorry for the loss of your husband, and what feels like the loss of your self. I am not a professional, just a mom, but if I can be an ear across the pond for you - feel free to send me an email. xtine6@verizon.net

      Christine.

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    3. Hi there,

      I'm reading through my comment now, slightly embarrassed. I caught this poem on a very bad night. I am grieving of course, which doesn't help, but you'll be pleased to know the bedtimes are going much much better and actually since writing that comment (it must have had some cathartic effect) I took a step back and just, quite simply, chilled. I stopped yelling, I stopped threatening her with the stool (which was clearly driving her nuts) and I have also tried to stop caring about what happens if she never falls asleep by herself. I'm watching my diet and caffeine intake a bit more to try and ascertain whether my irritability (which often feels almost physical when it manifests) is related.

      Today was a better day.

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    4. Elaine I am so glad to hear from you.
      I'm so glad too, to hear that things are going better for you.
      I totally agree that to just take a step back and chill is a great idea. I also get very frustrated sometimes, especially if I am left with the 2 of them to put to bed by myself, and they just run rings around me and refuse to lie down, and usually the best thing is to take everyone downstairs, pour myself a glass of wine and put on 'animals do the funniest things' or some other rubbish on tv! Everyone usually ends up smiling, which is a great alternative to yelling, even if it doesn't comply with the societal ideal of ultra obedient children.
      I'm really glad to hear you are looking after yourself too. Sending you another big hug x

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  6. I got chills all over while reading this. It's hauntingly beautiful. Do you know the book "Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch? If not, you should check it out. I often sing part of the story to my boys as they fall asleep: "I'll love you forever/I'll like you for always/ As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

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    1. No I don't, I will look it up, sounds lovely, and rings a distant bell!
      Thanks so much and I'm glad you liked it x

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  7. This is the most beautiful poem I have ever read. I have always stayed with my child until he is asleep, even now. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world, just to watch them drift off to sleep in your arms.
    Thank you - I have posted this onto my blog, with a link back to your post here, as it is too beautiful not to share (I couldn't find a way of reblogging as I'm on wordpress)

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    1. You are too kind! I'm very flattered by your words and so glad you enjoyed it! x

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  8. YOU ARE SO GOOD!! I just posted on instagram photo while waiting for my son to fall asleep- precious, fleeting moments, even when they seem long. As always, so much love & support to you!

    Julie
    www.theprogressiveparent.org

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    1. Thanks so very much Julie, and to you x

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  9. Really, truly beautiful! Worth publishing, or maintaining your rights to somehow

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    1. Hadn't really thought about that Jackie! Will look into the rights thing...my naive assumption is that you can't just take it from my blog without asking, but perhaps that is naive! Thanks for reading anyway x

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  10. "You'll know the worth of love's proximity" has beautiful Shakespearean echoes ...
    Masterfully done. I love it <3 Daisy

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    1. Well, even a tiny echo of W.S is a great compliment, thank you! I was reading his sonnets again the other day and couldn't quite believe how many he wrote and how totally incredible they all are! When you try and write one yourself, you appreciate even more what a genius he was.
      Thanks Daisy x

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    2. Beautiful thank you! Mari xxx

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  11. This is so beautifully written, and def my nightly routine... although with 2 kids that are currently separated, I take one, my husband the other :) We will be moving them into the same room soon (my daughter is still in our room, but she is pretty much weaned and ready to go), so I think that will be an interesting transition.... hopefully it's easier than I'm expecting it to be, and they can go to sleep on their own once they have each other (although I doubt it).
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks - we are in a similar place... Sometimes I get to go in to my eldest daughter and snuggle her to sleep, if I manage to finish up with our 2 year old in time!
      Tonight I went to the Freedom for Birth screening and daddy put her to bed, only the second time since she was born that I have not been there, but it was fine, she fell asleep with him... I think they are much better at adapting to change than we are (I missed her terribly!). We have tried both in the same room a couple of times but they just get really excited and run riot! No easy answers...Good luck with it! x

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  12. I welled up while reading this. It's easy to forget that just being there is so valuable.

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  13. Thanks for that, now I have to leave my lo to go to work with tears in my eyes :-/
    Being a first time older Mummy (44 with a 13 month old) and therefore possibly more aware of my own mortality it was all the more poignant.
    Thank you for sharing x

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  14. So touching, and a technically excellent sonnet too! Thank you.

    Wendy

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  15. Beautifully captured! My babies are 6 and 8 and I still lay down with them til they sleep, and I still love it! May I share your poem on my FB page, and credit you of course? x

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