I'm putting you to bed tonight the same way I always have since the first night you came home with us. Last year at this time, I was sure that it would only be a matter of months before our bedtime routine would change. I figured that once you got used to the fact that you didn't physically need me to be there with you for you to go to bed, that you'd be falling asleep on your own in no time at all.
I was wrong.
Here we are, on the night before you turn two, and I'm rocking you to sleep just like I have for the last 731 days. It's a little different now, sure. And now, we have the luxury of daddy stepping in to take my place every once in awhile. But, for the most part, I haven't missed more than a handful of bedtimes in the past two years.
But, can I make a confession?
I'm okay with that.
I know I shouldn't let you drink a cup of milk until you fall asleep. I know I shouldn't respond to your pleas for "One more!" reading of Goodnight, Moon. I know I should encourage independent sleep behavior and that I should set you down in your crib before you're even all the way asleep. Shoot, I probably should have plans in place to upgrade you to a toddler bed by now.
But, I do, and I will, and I don't, and I haven't.
And, I'm okay with that.
You see, I know I won't be able to do this forever.
At some point, both of us are not going to fit into this rocking chair. (In fact, sometimes I wonder if this is already happening.) At some point, you won't even really like for me to hold you. (Sometimes I wonder if this is happening already too.)
Eventually, you'll be too heavy for my arms to hold comfortably. Eventually, the thought of having a cup of milk to go to sleep might even be kind of gross to you.
With every moment that passes, we're getting closer to the ones where you really won't need me to do as many things for you anymore. So, tonight I'm rocking you to sleep.
I won't be able to rock you forever.
So, on the eve of your second birthday, I'm just happy that I still can.