Goodnight My Angel

The following is a post from Corey Jackson – I haven’t had a 9-month old baby for like 6 years.

I don’t remember if I told you about the first time I cried after Milo was born. We were very tired. The kind of tired that no one really ever experiences except for in those first few days you’re home from the hospital with your first child. No nurse to take him for a few hours. Oh, and by the way, he needs to breastfeed constantly (with supplement) so let’s try and get one hour naps in for 72 hours straight, kind of tired. So yeah, the first time I cried for real was on our way to our first pediatrician appointment. I can’t even tell you why. I think it was a mix of exhaustion and delirium.

Fast forward nine months, and I’ve had THE WEEK. Exhaustion and delirium both on the docket again. The week was so difficult I woke up on Friday convinced it was Saturday. I was trying to delete a day so bad. I even asked my wife “why did I set my alarm????” It didn’t work. I got to do one more day of this week and it didn’t let up at all. It also happened to be the week of the first fever and the first stand up in crib and the first crawl. Good lord!! So, that brings us to tonight. I’m standing at my baby’s crib at 8PM on a Friday and I decide to sing him “Goodnight, My Angel” by Billy Joel as a last ditch attempt to get him to fall asleep. Now, this is kind of a morbid lullaby about what happens after I die, but whatever, it’s a pretty song and it has the word “lullaby” in it, so I sing it to him. I got to the part where it says “Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby then in your heart there will always be a part of me” and I started crying. Not a little tear hear, a little tear there, it was an all out cry.  I cried so hard, he woke up and was like, “what’s wrong daddy” as he moved his head directly in front of mine to grasp what was going on. If we were capable of having a conversation about this, what would i have said? “um… I’m just upset thinking about when I’m dead and you’re holding your son and you’re singing this same song. You know, no big deal.” OR “I’m not crying, I think someone’s cutting onions.” OR “You have no idea the kind of week I’ve had. Let me tell you about my job and the kinds of situations children have to deal with in family shelter.” On second thought, it’s probably good we only had non-verbal communication to rely on tonight. It felt crazy to react with a cry like that and at the same time it felt just right. My nine month old in my arms, a hard week, a good cry. It was all kinds of just what I needed.

A nine month old therapist who is now sound asleep. Goodnight, my Angel.