It’s 2 am, Christmas morning. I’m sitting in my room, rocking a sick baby, while everyone sleeps around me. It’s as horribly exhausting as it sounds and yet….it is somehow do-able, even in the middle of the night on Christmas. Even with only two hours of sleep behind me and not much promise of sleep ahead of me. I can’t set Lily down because she wakes and cries and her hoarse, congested cry twists my heart and I have to pick her up immediately and so, of course, I am sitting here, rocking her and smelling her sweaty, feverish forehead and kissing her gently from time to time and being thankful that at least she is sleeping, at least she is resting and she is as comfortable as I can make her and at least she is so very loved, even if she is sick on her very first Christmas.
Last year it was Anna who was sick on Christmas. I went looking for her in the afternoon, after all the presents were unwrapped, and I found her sprawled on her bed, napping, and knew she must not be feeling well (Anna hasn’t voluntarily napped in several year). Maybe next year we can all be healthy? Is that possible?
Even in this, in the midst of a long, hard night, I know that there are worse things. I know that tomorrow morning, even if I am fall down tired, there will be presents and smiles and cinnamon rolls and apple cider. There will be new things and hugs and family. There will be fancy Christmas dishes and plates of cookies. There will be laughter and kisses and there will be love.
It’s a dark night but I have the promise of a bright and happy day to come. So I sit and rock and rock and rock. Sweet Lily, merry first Christmas.