The first one awake, just before 1:00AM, is The Munchkin. She is starting to get some molars and the poor thing is struggling. I awaken to her tears and go to her crib, Tylenol in hand. She drinks it eagerly and we snuggle up in the rocking chair, both nodding off together for a time before she is fully relaxed and I put her back into bed.
A couple of hours later, I bolt fully awake to the tears of The Nugget. She is half-crawling, half-walking into my bedroom, crying out, "Mommy, my legs hurt." She has had these growing pains since she was a baby. They are terrible to endure. I carry her back to her bed and bring her some ibuprofen. I lie next to her and sing quietly, rubbing her legs and stroking her hair until the medicine takes hold and the tears abate. When her breathing is regular, some 20 minutes later, I cover her up and return to my bed.
It's funny, I realize, but I am grateful for these kinds of growing pains. I know just what to do to ease them. Some medicine and my touch are enough at this tender age to bring peace back to my babies. I fear the times when I am left to grapple with much less concrete growing pains - broken hearts, crushed dreams, or worse.
I fall off to sleep knowing deep inside of me how lucky I am to be right here, right now.