Every night, before I go to bed.
I shuffle down the hallway, sliding one foot past the other on the slick wood floors to avoid making any noise, until I’m standing just outside your door. I flip on the hallway light so I don’t trip over a toy carelessly left in the middle of your bedroom floor. And so I can see your face. I always pause at the door with my fingertips resting on the handle, just for a moment, silently asking myself if I should risk it. With little hesitation, I slowly press down on the handle and gently push your door open just an inch or two and peer into the darkness. I wait. I listen for rustling blankets or changes in your breathing. Moments later, I crack the door wide enough so that when I turn sideways, I can easily slip in. I don’t want to let in any more light than I need. I stand still again, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Listening to the rhythm of your breath. In. Out. In. Out. Like waves in the ocean lapping the shore. Calm. Predictable.
I tiptoe over to where you sleep and admire your innocence. Your sweetness. I marvel at the little person you are growing into every day and at the fact that your father and I literally created you. Brought you into this crazy world. I pull your covers up to your chin to keep you warm throughout the night because I anticipate that I won’t see you again until morning. I do the same thing to your brother.
Every night, before I go to bed.
I want your peaceful faces to be the last thing I see before I fall asleep. These are a few of my favorite moments of each day that I take to bed with me. I go to bed knowing you are warm, safe, and content. Every day, I go to bed knowing you were kissed and hugged and told that you are loved. I go to bed appreciating that you have a warm, safe place to lay your head at night. That you have food in your belly and sweet dreams in your head. That you are fortunate enough, that we all are fortunate enough, to not know the difference. Nothing can replace the feeling of your head on my shoulder, your arms around my neck, or your voice in my ear whispering “I love you, mommy.” I love the chaos and the hustle and bustle that we repeat, day after day.
But these moments, every night before I go to bed….they are my favorite.
I had the opportunity to use my camera a lot today, between a play date with our friend Dawson and our babysitter’s son’s first birthday party. Here are some snapshots from our day. p.s. I am surrounded by boys!
Dexter was not clothed when Dawson got here because he had just dumped a cup of Gatorade on himself. Never did get around to dressing the kid.
And Theo? Well, he just wanted to wear pajamas today.
Boys, boys, boys.
The birthday boy.
And his pretty mama.
And finally, my very favorite from the day:
He has the prettiest blue eyes!
Hope your Saturday was nice, too.
I read a post by Heather recently that I just loved – she talked about all the ways she knew her adorable daughter, Emi, loves her. Or at least made her feel like she does. So I’m stealing.
I feel loved by Dexter when I pick him up and he squeeeeeeezes my neck and gives me the biggest hug (while saying “squeeeeeze!”). I feel loved when he lays his little head on my shoulder, even if it’s just for a few seconds. To me, there’s no better feeling in the world than my kids’ heads on my shoulder. I feel loved by him when he brings me book after book after book after book and he climbs into my lap to listen to a story. He’ll do this for as long as I will and I love the closeness, the stillness, and the cuddles. Sometimes when I’m bending over to help him with something, he’ll reach up to give me a kiss totally unprompted. I feel loved when he asks me to “chiss” his boo boos. As annoying as it is, I feel loved when he cries out for me in the middle of the night and my presence is enough to calm him down. I feel loved when he still lets me rock him in the glider. I love my little snuggle bug and I’m willing to spend as much time cuddling with him as possible because I know it won’t always be this way.
I feel loved by Theo when he asks me to do a puzzle with him. He’s seeking approval and praise and thrives on it. He wants his mama to be proud of him. I feel loved by Theo when he asks ME how MY day was. I feel loved by Theo when he says “mama, you’re my best friend.” I feel loved by Theo when he asks to watch a movie and then lets me hold him in my lap the whole time. I feel loved by Theo when I put him to bed at night and he says “mama, will you snuggle up with me?” Of course. (As soon as Dexter goes to sleep. Otherwise, he’ll get jealous and cry, cry, cry). I feel loved by Theo when he runs to the door every day when I pick him up at the babysitter’s and says “MAMA! You’re here!” and he hurries to show me or tell me what he’s been doing.
I feel loved, or maybe I just feel love, when I watch my boys play together. When I hear Theo offering to help Dexter. To share a treat with him. Asking him if he’s okay when he cries. When Dexter asks to snuggle up with Theo in his big bed. When Dexter follows Theo around all day because he wants to be just like him. With him. Near him. I feel loved knowing how much by boys love each other and hope that they know that they are each other’s greatest gift – a gift that only me and their dad could give them.
If you have little kids, you know that they do not always make you feel loved. It’s good to remember how much they really do need and love you sometimes.