Never Wake a Sleeping Baby?
The campus is quiet. The dorm is quiet. Our apartment in Gehring is quiet. I have a sleeping baby resting on my chest, a sleeping dog at my feet, and a cat sprawled in a ray of sunshine in a position that can only be comfortable for a cat. Pete is up at Sunday River with Mr. Manning practicing codes (practicing scenarios ski patrollers are likely to encounter as they do their work). Reiley is with his friends at daycare, hopefully making some more ornaments for our little Christmas tree.
They say, “never wake a sleeping baby.” Infants are notorious for not letting their parents sleep more than a couple hours at a time. The night before last, Osie slept from 7:30 pm until 5 am when I started to try to wake her up. If they don’t wake you up to eat every few hours, they wake you up because they’re NOT eating! She was fine, but has since spent the past 24 hours trying to catch up on missed calories. Next time, I’ll try harder to wake her up!
As humans we may feel different from other mammals, and in many ways we are. But we’re not so different when it comes to the effort and care involved in raising a baby. I remember my dog, Pogi, with her 6 puppies. She looked haggard. Her upper lip was bloody from licking all her puppies, and her teats were red and swollen. When our horse Dinah had Tinker, she never got a moment of rest. She was constantly herding Tinker away from the fence and toward the shed where she could eat. Our mamma pig laid down to nurse 13 piglets, who already had sharp little nurse teeth and climbed all over her with a cacophony of pig sounds! It seems that babies, no matter what kind, require a lot of time, patience, compromise, and cooperation.
Thinking of human babies, it’s amazing to me to look around and realize that EVERY adult was once an infant. And every infant was cared for by someone who dedicated a significant portion of their time, energy, and compassion to raising a limp helpless creature.
So, to all the moms and dads, (biological or chosen, traditional or unique), Thank you! Thanks for raising all of us. Seems this would be a better message for Mothers’ Day or Fathers’ Day, but perhaps it’s not so bad for this time of year either. Thank your parents, if you can, when you say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or even just when you say, hello.