Wednesday, April 12, 2006


By the time we adopted Christian at 22 months, our oldest, Ice-J was 12. Ice-J slept in a sleeping bag in our room on weekends. We called it "camping out". Really, it was just a way of staying connected to Mom and Dad as Ice-J got older.

After being abandoned at the hospital, neglected by relatives and then eventually ending up in foster care all before the age of two, there were certain ways I felt that we could help Christian feel the stability and love in our home. So we moved the crib in to our room, disconnected one side of the crib, pushed it up against the bed and Wa-La! Instant co-sleeper.

Ice-J would continue his "camp outs" until nearly fourteen years of age. Christian was just beginning...........

When we adopted Leroy and Tori, Tori at 5 1/2 was perfectly comfortable having her own room to herself after years in foster care. She was the only girl and didn't have to share her stuff with anyone. We could complete the bedtime routine, put her to bed in her "princess room" and not see her until morning. Leroy on the other hand had night terrors that woke him up every couple of hours. It was not safe for him to sleep alone because Leroy would start screaming and running in to furniture.

Our bedtime routine would start with one of us laying down with Christian. After Christian fell asleep, we would move him to his own bed. Then one of us would put Leroy down with us. This was the routine until I found out I was pregnant.

Panic stricken, with a series of gradual moves, by the time Izzy was born we had both boys in their room and only had to get up with Leroy and put him back to bed couple of times a night.

Now that Izzy sleeps in his own bed 50% of the time without waking up and coming to ours, I have realized that the whole family bed is coming to an end. Most people would be jumping for joy. Parties and martini's would be in order. However, after having your children in bed with you for so many years makes one realize that your children are growing up. Not feeling scared of the dark, enjoying one's own bedroom and knowing that you are safe and loved in your forever family exhibits independence.

Don't get me wrong.............I enjoy sleeping in bed with just Bubby. The king-sized bed feels roomy and comfortable. I can cuddle and play footsies with Bubby without any other bodies being in the way. This is a great thing! But what I miss can make tears come to my eyes almost immediately. The little hands holding mine, the sweet breath on my neck and tiny arms and legs entangled in my own. In the mornings, seeing faces with happy smiles, cuddles and big stretches......the promise of a new day.

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