there are three things that holden needs in order to go to sleep each and every night:

1.  mama

2. nursing

3. rocking

and if he doesn't have one of these, he won't fall asleep.  the beginning couple months were rough for our little guy who suffered from reflux and although he was a fantastic sleeper from the start, it was the whole getting him to sleep part that we struggled with.  so we found a method that worked and we stuck with it, and now despite the fact that reflux has come and gone from his life, this sleep habit has remained.

so each evening, as the sun sinks below the horizon and the light seeps dreamily through the curtains casting dull-edged shadows that dance around the floor, the three of us make our way into the bedroom where words weave tales of animal kingdoms, children pirates that reign the high seas, and mini monsters that are too cute to be any bit frightening.  and with the telltale rub of an eye, daddy gives a quick kiss and slips out of the room as we sink into the rocking chair, the weight of our bodies settling so easily into the soft, dense cushions that they must remember us even when we are gone.  our bodies sway back and forth in a slow and rhythmic motion, holden's ear pressed against my beating heart, the cadence of his breath matching mine, and he peacefully drifts off to sleep.

this has been our routine every single night of holden's life and while i usually appreciate these quiet moments with my baby in my arms, there are nights that holden decides that instead of going to sleep, he just wants to relax for a half hour or more while resting on me.  the past couple of nights, holden has been refusing sleep, begging to play until the sun comes up and i have found myself frustrated with the lengthy night-time routine and wanting a few hours to myself and some alone time with dustin before the clock strikes 12.

and then tonight, in the midst of rocking holden to sleep he lifted his head from my chest looked up at me and gave me a soft kiss before resting his head back on my chest and drifting off into a deep slumber.  it's moments like this that remind me what's really important in life because one day he won't want me to put him to sleep and i'll find myself missing the peaceful evenings that we spend together.