Thursday, April 24, 2008

"I'm almost a grown-up girl now, Mom."

For the past three or four weeks, something miraculous has happened. I didn't want to talk about it, for fear that I might jinx it, but now that we're a month in, I feel that it's OK to say something.

Cathryn has been putting herself to sleep, and sleeping through the night. In her own bed. Well, kinda.

It all started during her Spring Break at the end of March. Since Trey left for Coker, Cathryn has been using Trey's room as a kind of play room. She uses the desktop computer for her games, watches his television (her TV doesn't have a cable hook-up yet), and practices playing her (um, my) keyboard on his bed. During Spring Break, though, she asked me if she could sleep in Trey's bed. I wanted to clear it with Richie first, but once he said it was OK with him, I was OK with it, too.

I took one of the pillows from her bed and brought the all-important "Mary The Little Lamb" (A stuffed lamb that Trey's Grandma Toni gave her for Christmas when she was a year and a half old.) in from her bedroom. We turned a lamp onto dim and used it as a night light, then I set the sleep timer on his television for thirty minutes. I kissed her goodnight and left her, expecting to hear her cry for me or for her to get out of bed and come snuggle on the couch. It never happened.

I kept checking on her before Richie and I turned in, and she was just flat passed out. When I woke up the next morning, I hadn't been pushed into the middle of the bed, and there was no tiny sleeping person laying on my back. It was strange, I tell you! Richie and I made a big deal of her sleeping on her own, bragging to Cathy and Richard, Tracey and my mom. All of Spring Break it was like this. The night before school was supposed to start again, I took out a new Junie B. Jones book (Cathryn's favorite), and we read a chapter, just like we do every night, except this time we were still in Trey's bedroom. When the chapter was over, I set the timer on the television again, kissed her and told her goodnight. I checked on her thirty minutes later, and she was out before the timer shut off the television.

It's amazing, y'all, and a little heartbreaking, because I know now that she's really, really truly growing up, and soon she won't be a little girl at all. I'm going to miss that.

But it doesn't keep me from being super proud of every little accomplishment as she grows.


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