Now I Lay Her Down to Sleep (the Honest Version)

Please, God, make this baby sleep

Now I Lay Her Down to Sleep

(the Honest Version)


Now I lay her down to sleep,

I beg the Lord, “Eight hours, please!

May angels watch her through the night,

and keep her eyelids sealed up tight.

If she should cry before I wake,

just once, Lord, let the monitor break.” 


Wishing all my fellow parents eight hours of undisturbed sleep—tonight and every night . . .

Elizabeth Laing Thompson signature

P.S. Photo credit goes to my friend Julie Moon, who is not only a talented photographer, but an organizing genius who blogs at Neat & Pretty.

In case you want to pin this, or share it with a fellow sleep-deprived mom . . . here are graphics of a boy version and girl version of this poem! Happy sleeping.

Now I Lay Him Down to Sleep (The Honest Version-Boy) - when babies won't sleep

Now I Lay Her Down to Sleep (The Honest Version-Girl)-baby sleep schedules



Across the room you catch my eye,
bouncy curls bobbing, glinting sun,
chubby hands clutching, waving spoon,
secret laugh bubbling, casting joy,
and I want to stop time,
freeze-frame your innocence,
your toddlerhood,
this moment,

So I try.

I pick up the camera.
Adjust the lighting.
Try another angle.
Snap again
and again
and again.

But I cannot capture
the way the fading sun fingers your golden curls,
painting a second sunset in my kitchen;
the way the twinkle in your honey eyes sparks,
and I see my grandmother winking there;
the way your coy giggle spins and curls and winds
across the room, around my heart.

At last, suddenly wiser, I stop trying.

I put down the camera,
and sit down across from you,
and drink you in,
and share your secret joke,
and we laugh,
and I know, somehow,
that I have finally caught the moment,
and my heart will always remember.

poetry about motherhood

Fun Friday Post: Bouquet

a child's bouquet


Elizabeth Laing Thompson

Weeds upon my windowsill,

tickled by a breeze,

gifts from chubby, grubby hands,

picked with pride for me.

Bruised by clumsy, eager fists,

petals all askew,

still they bob and wink and wave

and whisper, “She loves you.”


Poetry for mothers...when children pick flowers


When children pick flowers

Room for Two

Suitcase for two:

Miniature hat—dwarfed by the palm of my hand,

For a head that has never seen the sun;

Diapers—impossibly, laughably small,

For a little bottom that likes to play bumper cars with my ribs;

Tiny socks, tucked next to mine,

For toes that have never felt the cool, almost-spring air.

I hold them up, chuckle… but then I think,

If I don’t pack you socks, who will?

In a rush, the weight hits me—the profound, couched in the mundane:


Your feet, cold and tinged with blue, will be mine to warm;

Your body, unfathomably small, mine to clothe;

Your bottom, baby soft as they say, mine to diaper;

Your life, priceless and unwritten, mine to guide;

Your heart, never wounded, never betrayed, mine to protect.

Alone but together, I check in: “Room for two, please.”

In the corner, your pint-sized bed waits.

Check-in as one, check-out as two:

No instruction manual, no warranty, no receipt for return or exchange,

Just a smile and “Congratulations! Good luck!”

And a balloon.

Ride for two:

We roll out to greet the wide wondrous whelming hope-saturated universe.

Two lives, forever entwined, blinking in the welcoming sun.

I sigh, the weight of the world, a shiny new life, cradled in my arms.

Silently, I pray that the world will make room for two—room for you.

Rainy Day

A rain-drizzled day,

the kiss of fall in the air.

Nowhere to go,

No one to be,

So we’re baking, mess-making—

And for one don’t-blink moment,

Fleeting as night lights

And milk spills

And dandelion wishes,

All is right

In our little world.