Since we took away Eamon's soother in late November, he just hasn't gone to sleep as well as he did when he had the soother. The soother had this fantastic, magical ability to relax every muscle in his body and lead him quickly to quiet slumber.
Now, without the soother his body doesn't stop moving quite as easily, or at all really. To avoid him getting overtired, and because a busy Christmas season was right around the corner, I started sitting with him at naptime and bedtime so that his body would stop moving so it could slip into sleep. I found that if I held his hand, he'd stop moving and drift right off, usually within a few minutes. Now, I hold his hand less frequently than when I started, but I still hold it quite a bit.
At times, I can't believe I do this. And I wonder how long it will go on. It can't last forever, can it?
But then, when I watch his eyes while he's drifting off as they go from quiet gaze to being covered by fluttering eyelids, I can't help but love the moment. It reminds me of when he was an infant and reminds me that he is still very small and vulnerable in the big scheme of things.
Undoubtedly, my hand holding days are numbered and I will be sad when they finally come to an end. I must remember to enjoy every hand holding moment.