My four year old daughter Kaylee touches my heart and my feet dance every time.
Both of our kids take turns falling asleep in my bedroom. When my husband and I get ready to go to sleep we quietly pick up our sleeping beauties and tuck them into their own beds. They insist on wearing my husband’s t-shirts even though they have their very own pajamas.
With lights on low my room has a fish tank with a night time light. My walls are filled with wedding pictures. Our communion cups and pitcher, my tiara that the kids call Mom’s crown sit with our other wedding items on a black shelf above my dresser.
This bedroom is where our family of four started and great memories rest behind the doors to this bedroom with lavender walls. When our little loves were newborns they slept in a cradle next to our bed. Stories were read as they got older. Now they wrestle with Daddy on our bed.
Sometimes in the middle of the night my Kaylee girl sneaks in bed right between her Daddy and me. Tucked in tight under the covers, she squeezes close to me and puts my arm around her. I hold her and together we sleep until sunrise. It’s here that bonding takes place. I’m so in love with this girl.
We all snuggle on our couch as part of our bed time routine. After we tuck them in we snuggle again for a few minutes. We stay consistent with our night time rituals and our kids hold us to it.
Every once in a while extra-long hugs and snuggles are needed and we take the time to offer more of ourselves. But, naturally like all parents we usually can’t wait for them to fall asleep so that we can have time for ourselves before our bed time. Most nights we have to be firm and tell them to go to sleep so Mommy and Daddy can have adult time.
Just recently there was a night that Kaylee didn’t have enough of Mommy time. I gave her all my love and time like usual. I had to say no more Kaylee tonight, I will snuggle you big time in the morning. She cried a tidbit. I confess, I kind of ignored her and honestly I felt guilty.
Sometimes it seems like there just isn’t enough of me to keep giving. I get tired. Don’t we all? I tell myself when tears flood my ears that it’s o.k. to encourage them to soothe themselves to sleep.
I checked on Kaylee about a half hour after she stopped crying for me. She was sound asleep on my soft pillow with my favorite blanket wrapped around her. I uncovered Kaylee to carry her to bed. I was astonished to find in her arms a picture of me. She had taken a wedding picture of me off the wall and fell asleep hugging it.
I tucked her in her bed and kissed her darling face one more time for the night. I prayed for her silently before I turned her light off and walked out her bedroom door.
I had a vision of her as a bride when I walked down the hallway from her room to mine. I hung my Wedding picture back up. Someday my daughter will leave home and now is the time to cherish every breathing moment with her.
And so I snuggle her more when I tuck her in to go to bed. I matter to her and she needs Mommy time. I need her too.