Mothering: Age 16 by Nancy Schatz Alton
The night waking evolves & it’s almost like a miracle to be needed by you even as I’m still figuring out how to make it up as I go along. This parenting is like a run-on sentence with no grammar fix because if I pile up enough words I might be able to explain both the confusion and the beauty. How at night the mind plays tricks on everyone: there’s enough darkness to cover all of us. Thankfully there’s enough blankets and limbs and laughter, too. I’ve learned enough to cue up the funny meditation and to really, really enjoy the laughter that erupts from both of us. “If you’re listening to this in the morning, that’s wrong,” says the meditation master during the getting-to-sleep track.
We are getting to sleep together, and I’ve learned to be quiet. Some nights I apply what I’ve learned and other nights I’m reaching into the unforgiving dark and hoping the wall catches my head. If I bang my head against the wall I would do it again, so I could hear a beat. Instead I make a beat out of my breathing and hope that if I am calm enough, my daughter can match my breath. If we breathe slowly together, we’ll meet this dark night by eventually falling asleep.