Today, I’m very pleased to welcome my first ‘neighbor’ in Round 3 of Won’t you be my Neighbor, Rudri of Being Rudri.

The clock turns midnight, my eyes heavy from the pressure of a sweet sleep as the blankets provide a cozy refuge from all the day’s activities. I shift to the right, the side I prefer to sleep, and breathe a deep sigh, settling back into my slumber. Not two minutes have passed and I hear the little steps of my daughter running toward our bedroom.

She announces in a megaphone voice, “Momma, I am going to the restroom.” I mutter something unintelligible as she walks toward our restroom and then eventually back to her room. Night after night, it is always something. It is usually a small request or statement, a glass of water, an extra blanket, or she needs “the” stuffed animal. I not only suspect, but know, that she looks to me and her father for reassurance. It can be a small gesture from either one of us, a pat on her back, a blow-kiss or a hug to quiet the fears she won’t verbalize.

I’m certain I was warned about the sleepless nights and the other ways that having a child would change life. I’m not certain, though, that I was prepared for this unconditional love. It’s all encompassing at times. My daughter is happiest when she shares my space. When I am typing or writing at my desk, she is nearby, about two feet away from me coloring one of her pictures. If I step out to throw away the garbage, she opens the garage to ensure I am coming back. When I attend a writer’s meeting, she waits up, only able to sleep after I tuck her in. Even after I reprimand her for coloring on the couch or wasting her cereal, she maybe upset for a split second, but the very next minute, she is saying “I love you, Momma.”

I worry when this unconditional love will end. When she realizes that I am not the closest thing to God, but only human. I saw a brief preview at the doctor’s office this past week. For several days, my daughter was complaining of abdominal pains and so after the fourth day of the same complaint, I decided a trip to the doctor was needed. As she lay on the table, she looked to me for comfort, her eyes asking if her stomach would feel better soon. She asked, “If I go to the doctor and she checks me out, I’ll feel better. Right, Momma?” I could only nod my head and agree with her, not wanting to disrupt her perception of things. Her stomach eventually felt better, but the very next day, she said to me, “Sometimes some hurts don’t get better, right?” I didn’t know how to respond, the weight of her words placing a tight pressure on my own heart.

I suspect her unconditional love will end as she gets older, the sharp force of knowledge and reality erasing innocence. For now, though, the sleepless nights are something that I treasure, knowing that unconditional love resides in those midnight wake up calls.

Please visit Rudri again at Being Rudri, and if you have a guest ‘neighbor’ posting on your blog today, please use the button to your right and link up below!

15 thoughts on “Infallible

  1. So happy to see one of my favorite people here today!

    Rudri, this post warmed my cold little heart. The love you feel for your daughter shines through in every word. I have one daughter, age 5, who still loves to be close by at all times. I’m trying, every day, to savor it while I can.

    • Thanks KW! Likewise.

      It is hard sometimes to savor it while you are in THAT moment, but I learned that I appreciate it more when I have time to reflect (for me it really happened at that doctor’s visit).

  2. Love this! I always expected to fall head over heels in love with my son and love him immeasurably. What I wasn’t expecting was he would give me the same in return.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I know sometimes you stop in your tracks when you are overwhelmed with such endless love. I will be sad when that love is transformed into a less innocent love.

  3. I am usually surprised with the amount of affection and love my little one shows me. And, it reminds me of how I used to have that with the older two, but it faded away with the years. Hold tight although I suspect that a mother-daughter bond will be much different than the mother-son bond in my future.

    I see your comments at all the same blogs. I’ve visited your site before but was unable to find an RSS feed to subscribe to. I will check again.

  4. Beautiful perspective, Rudri. We (parents) often speak about unconditional love toward a child, but it definitely goes both ways. I’m already thinking differently about my kids’ demands for my attention.

  5. Though I am not a mother, I can appreciate a child’s affection for their own. I’ve been lucky enough to witness her affection towards you Rudri, and it is indeed a treasure to savor. You managed to put such a “speechless” emotion into beautiful prose. I can’t help but get tears in my eyes by reading about your journey as not only a mother but a human being. Thank you.

  6. So lovely to see you here Rudri, and loving that Won’t you be my neighbour is back Amy!!

    Here’s what I think: You’ll always hold that special place in heart. She might fight it as she gets older, but it will be there. Always. Trust that!

  7. Rudri, great to see you here! I have to say that I’ve always feared my own unconditional love for my daughter but now that I’m seeing the flip side to that, her own devotion to flawed, imperfect, undeserving me, I am even more afraid. Not just in losing her adoration, but to be the one to disappoint her to some extent that I couldn’t measure up to the infallible human being our kids make us out to be sometimes.

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