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
"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
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
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.