When my son, Ihsan, was a baby he was a great sleeper. From the beginning he actually slept five or six hours through the night. The catch was that he would not sleep in his crib. We had it set up in our room next to our bed and we would rock him to sleep and as soon as we put him down in his crib he would wake up and start crying. So, we had him in our bed for awhile and we would have him sleep in a little baby swing that we had and he could rock to sleep in that.
When he was about five or six months old I decided that we were going to transition him into the crib. During this time, one afternoon, I was trying to put him down for his nap. He was just not having any of it. I put him down in the crib and he cried and cried and cried. So I put him in the swing, he kept crying and wouldn’t go to sleep. Finally I turned the swing on and he still wouldn’t go to sleep. I came in and got down face to face with him and I started talking to him. You know, how you sometimes talk to kids like they are adults but it is like completely ridiculous?
Well, I said, “Ihsan, now look, you really need to take a nap.” All of a sudden, while I was talking to him, he reached out and put his hand on my cheek and just rested it there. He gazed into my eyes for what felt like five solid minutes but it was probably a minute or two. He just stared at me and the only way I can describe it was like he was an old soul. He was just gazing at me eye to eye. It is the probably the closest I have ever come to feeling like I was looking into God’s eyes and God was looking into my eyes. We just had this absolute moment. Eventually I broke the gaze and he settled down and went to sleep and took his nap.
This happened a few more times, I would be putting him in his car seat, leaning over to buckle him in or putting him down for a nap or whatever, he would just reach out and touch my cheek and look into my eyes for a minute.
Debra Wuliger, figurative artist working with color, texture and pattern to celebrate life.
Image silhouetted with story. Ready for hanging.