Night weaning has been going surprisingly, shockingly well.
It has definitely reinforced to me that it was wise in his case to wait. At 7 months he lost his mind when I first tried. This time there has been no hysteria at all. Some sadness, surely, on both of our parts, but no wild panic.
The only hiccup has been that at about 3 am he decides if he doesn't get to nurse, he is just going to play. And play he does, vigorously. And this play also involves climbing, which is kind of scary in the middle of the night. Oh, and some hair pulling too. He's definitely a little mad at me. And about the only time he has cried has been the first two nights at 4 am when he is tired of playing, and wants to sleep. He rubs his eyes, tears at my shirt, and begins to whine. Then screech a bit, and throw a fit to see if that will work. Then he just cries a bit, sadly, real tears, face down on the mattress, close enough to me for comfort, but not giving me the satisfaction of a real cuddle. This lasts only about 5 minutes. I turn on his classical lullabies, and hum them in his ear, hand patting his back. I cry a little too because he is sad, and even though I know this is the best thing for him, i'm still sad when he's sad. And he stops to listen.
And, as always, God speaks to us most clearly when we are giving of ourselves to another. Because in the quiet, watching my baby, I saw a glimpse of the Father's heart for His children.
This is a time of growth for this boy The Dude. A time to put away a piece of his babyhood. It's painful, but it's necessary. Like so much of life. I think it hurts because as a mother it is such a wonderful thing to provide comfort so easily to the little one that we love. And as mothers of babies, that is our main job. The job of infancy is to learn to trust. And these long nights spent together, I have prayed and sought to show to The Dude not that just that he can trust and depend on me...but ultimately to equip him to fully trust his heavenly Parent who was willing to sacrifice not a measly year or so of sleepless nights...but the very life of His Son.
Though he has been quite graciously accepting this passage, I can see the mourning of his flesh, and even my own flesh mourns as we leave this part of our lives behind. I found myself praying that first night as he moaned and buried his face in the bed, that God would comfort him in ways I could not. I prayed that this first time of growth would stick somewhere that even though he has no clear memory, it is a part of who he is forever. I prayed that through my hand on his back and mouth gently to his ear he would learn about the love and comfort of the Father during these so difficult times ahead. And that the love transferred from my presence would translate into accepting God's presence as he faces his life and the many stages of growth that he will move through. I prayed that God would, indeed, make him a mighty man of God.
Then, he suddenly sat straight up, smiled the biggest snaggle-toothed smile he could muster, clapped his hands, and fell fast asleep with his head on my chest.
And now I pray that I will accept change and growth as readily as this small boy, whose curly head is on my chest. Mostly, that I can go back to that simple trust in the Father who is leading me through each stage of life with a whisper in my ear and hand on my back.