Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Adar II 5765 - April 6, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Home and Family

Midnight Musings
By Risa Rotman

There she goes again. My baby has woken up for the second or third time. I stretch. Her cries grow louder. Ok, ok, I'm coming. As I get up, I hear the soft breathing in the quiet of the night all around the house.. What a contrast to chaotic noise and clamor of daytime. Out of bed I climb, bend over and take this not so small baby out of her crib. She is still in my room even though she is much too old for it. One of us can't make the transition. I pull her to me. " I love you, Baby," I whisper spontaneously as I take her in my arms.

"Am I nuts?" I think. With my first few kids, I never would have been able to deal with repeated awakenings. I'd consider any mother who'd let such an old baby wake up so often to be plain crazy. "Just train your baby to sleep through the night," I'd think indignantly. Here I am today, a number of kids later, and letting my baby wake me several times a night.

When I was younger, I never thought I'd have the stamina for this interrupted sleep. "Eight solid hours" was my firm belief. Where did I learn to do with so much less? Ok, so maybe it comes with age and experience.

What really catches me off guard is the intensity of my emotions. With each baby, I'm sure that no one could love any baby as much as I love this one. But what do I know? Whenever I tell my kids that this is the cutest baby in the whole world, they tell me, "Oh Mommy, you always say that."

They say that loves grows. It does. Upon the arrival of each new baby, there is that much more for all. As I settle my baby in my arms, I consider how much love I have for all the kids. Yes, all the kids, even the ones I screamed at and threatened to potch, even the ones who wouldn't go to bed after a long tiring day, even the one who left his room in a big mess, promised to clean it up and didn't, and even the teenagers with all their ups and downs. The love just grows. It takes being woken up in the middle of the night to realize how powerful that love can be.

I'm getting older, hopefully, maturing as well. This love seems to be taking me to a higher plane also leading to greater gratitude to HaKodesh Baruch Hu, Creator of the universe, Who has entrusted me with the care of these precious souls. I should only merit this trust.

I never could understand how Yaakov Avinu could recite kriyas shema upon finally seeing his long lost son, Yosef. I still don't really comprehend the magnitude of his actions. Somehow though, in the gentle quiet of the night, after all the hustle and bustle of day, I have a glimmer of understanding of the greatness of Yaakov's love for Hashem. This intense love of my baby and of all my children should be directed towards YOU, Hashem.


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