It's not necessarily a good feeling.
But it's a feeling I absolutely love.
Hearing a child cry in the night.
It's a rare occurrence. Not something that happens even monthly. I am lucky enough to have a kid who has been sleeping through the night for 2 years now.
I hear the cry and my heart paces. The fog of sleep dissipates from my mind faster than I ever knew possible. I don't think, I just act. My feet hit the floor and lift me out of bed. I gracefully snake through my dark bedroom, a hand gliding across the bed, curving around the bedpost, silently mapping the route to the child who needs me.
And I am there, by her side, soothing and shushing and kissing and cradling.
Sometimes all it takes is a touch. Sometimes it's rocking and songs. And then it's a stolen kiss and I slip back to bed wondering what caused her to wake - a disturbing dream? A chill? Pins and needles from sleeping in those silly positions young children often contort into?
I lie awake for a few minutes longer. My ears are pricked. My mind is vigilant. No other stirring. Just quiet. And I drift off to sleep, knowing I am needed and loved. Knowing I, hopelessly flawed as I am, can right the world of someone so amazing and I am what she wants and needs.
Hearing a cry in the night...
I don't like her to cry.
But I love the feeling of instinct, the feeling of being so needed.