The Night Watch

Ask any new parent and they’ll likely admit to having slept in their baby’s nursery, with tired eyes trained on the rise and fall of baby’s chest, ears pricked listening for each breath.

We make our baby’s rooms cozy, soft and inviting, not only for them, but for us; for the hours spent there nursing, playing, changing, cuddling and vigilantly keeping watch.

When my daughter was younger her seizures, some life threatening, rendered me afraid to leave her side. Many nights were spent in her room—her nestled in her crib, me curled up on the fuzzy carpet on the floor below. There is nothing quite as lonely and still as those quiet hours while everyone else in the world (it seems) is fast asleep.

Avery woke often for comfort and midnight tube feedings (I wish I had thought to take a photo of the feeding contraption we MacGyvered for her with medical tape and tubing, it was like a pediatric beer bong.)

This weekend while doing a spring clean, we donated several bags of the kids’ old toys and baby gear. The play pen, an old stroller, a baby gate, and the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium that once provided comfort and a necessary distraction during those awful tube feeds. I still remember the soft glow cast over the crib and the gurgle of the bubbles that kept me company during those long, dark nights.

Eventually I returned to my own bed to sleep, restlessly, with frequent trips “just to check” throughout the night. Then our wonderful extended family bought us a surveillance camera with a portable screen so we could see our sleeping girl from anywhere in the house.

Those days seem far away. Our daughter, now six years old, sleeps in a big girl bed and with her seizures under control, the camera has been stored away. The aquarium has since been updated, but despite the remote control and more modern look, it’s still a familiar friend.


Photo Bottom Left: Family movie night with the cousins watching Spirit, a horse movie. Clearly a western theme is going on here. Can you spot Avery in the rocker underneath the giant sombrero?

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