a letter to my sons: every night, before I go to bed.

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.