Please Don’t Wake Up

“Please don’t wake up.”

Four words every parent has thought at some point.

I’m still a normal parent in many ways, these words streaking across my mind, followed by a twinge of guilt. I am a superstitious sort, often knocking on wood to stave off misfortune.

Every parent fearfully imagines saying these words:

“Please wake up.”

But I have said these:

“You have to wake up, baby. Please wake up. Please wake up.”

We all want our children to stay asleep. I can’t stop the cringe, the silent prayer for continued sleep, when I hear rustling or noises over the baby monitor. But I try to feel gratitude for the plaintive cry in the night. Because I have felt these words with a chill in my core:

“She’s not going to wake up.”

The price for love lost and found again is the fear every morning when I wake before my new daughter. My recompense is the overwhelming joy at the feel of her breath and the sight of her smile.

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