When Adelei was about 3 months old, I made the decision to not rock her every night before bed. Several of my friends convinced me that rocking her was a bad habit and when I asked her doctor about it, she agreed. The baby needs to learn to put herself to sleep, she said. I understood, and I tried it.
Some times it worked, some times, especially when she wasn't feeling so good, I'd give in and rock her. I loved it and felt guilty all at the same time. Was I setting her up for failure? It's something that I've struggled with over and over again. A few weeks ago, I read about a baby back home that passed away. She was just a little older than Adelei. From what I understand, there was negligence involved. My heart was broken for this innocent child. I couldn't help but hug Adelei more, tell her how much I love her, even though she doesn't really understand my words yet. And that night when she woke up crying, I rocked her. I have continued to rock her every night. I've decided for myself that this is okay. Life is too short. I don't know how many days we have together, and I don't want to take these moments for granted. Until that week, that rocking chair was just a chair. I could count on one hand the number of times it was used. But now, that chair evokes special memories. We rock and sing, we talk and cuddle. It's our chair. It's our tradition. And I wouldn't change it for the world.