There’s been a bit of happy dancing around these parts for the past few days and I’ve been eager to share.
Book. Book. Book. Book. Book.
No, not my own book. (A wish, a dream, a someday). But someone else’s book.
My writing. My essay. In print. In a real, live book scheduled to be released later this month.
Now do you understand the happy dancing?!
I caught wind of the essay contest just days before the deadline via my twitter feed (yes, I succumbed. I am on twitter now) and I was so excited to enter. And, now, I’m ever so glad I did.
Because my essay’s going to be in a book. book. book. book. (Yes, there was totally more happy dancing there.)
Alright, enough of that.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is the essay I submitted:
When I close my eyes and imagine where my son sleeps, I see a peaceful nursery with a crib at the center of it all. As I peer into our reality, I see a single bed to share, a sophisticated black platform made entirely unsophisticated by the addition of two mesh side rails. One year spent co-sleeping has not erased the disconnect in my mind between the imagined and reality.
I was born and raised in the United States where cribs are the norm and anything else is an anomaly. Talk to other parents, watch movies, read books; the message is clear, babies sleep in cribs. It wasn’t until I was pregnant and gave birth in Japan that I questioned this pervasive assumption.
In Japan, by contrast, co-sleeping is the norm. Discovering this forced me to reconsider my taken-for-granted notions of where babies sleep, the American ideal of forcing sleep independence on the youngest among us, and the necessity of cribs. Ultimately, it gave me the confidence to trust my instincts and bring my babe to bed.
Less than a week after our little one, a preemie, came home, we started sleeping with him. We were comforted by his presence, reassured that he was doing okay. He was comforted by us, with easy access to warmth, love, and milk. Now, more than a year later, he is still in our bed, cuddled up between us. Sharing the bed, with the entire family, feels so right.
Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance.