Mac is curled tight into the crook of my arm every night. It’s a tender scene, I’m sure – his small warm body snuggled into my own.
I’m sure it’s also a scene that every granola-eating “family bed” proponent of a new age Berkeley hippie warms up to.
It’s not why I do it though. I sleep with my baby up against me for the same reason I slept with my other two cocooned against me: because I have to.
Hearing aids slipped off, it’s a silent world for me. I’d never hear the baby in a bassinet.
I don’t wake from the sound of the baby crying; I wake from the feel of the baby moving – or from the vibration of his crying.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to wake up from the sound of something, or to simply be able to put the baby in a safe spot and rest assured that I would be able to hear him if he called. To not have to sleep with the lights on forever so that my eyes can be my ears, to not have to physically touch my baby to be in tune.
Thinking about that is sort of thinking about that ride on a magical unicorn I’ve never had – like, yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaah, how very nice it must be! – um, what’s for breakfast anyway?
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.