Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sleeping Children

Each night, after I am ready for bed, I always make my way down the hall to each of the kid's rooms to check on them one more time before I go to sleep. Mostly, I just want to make sure they are covered up and aren't laying on something hard or have taken something weird to bed with them that might wake them up later (Caroline!). It's usually during this time that I'll just stand there in the low light and look at them and marvel that they are my children and I think about how sweet they are and how much I love them. I often reflect on how much I adore them at that very second and all the things I will miss when they change as they grow and how precious they are at each of their ages. I look at how sweet and little they are in their beds, how completely innocent they view the world, and how passionately they live their lives when they are awake. I love how soft their little hands and faces are and how peacefully they are laying there dreaming. It's so hard not to just pick them up and cuddle them but I've made the mistake of doing that before (rookie mom mistake in Caroline's very early days) and know that it ruins the moment. So, if I'm feeling brave, I'll move the hair off of Caroline's face and kiss their heads but often, I just let them sleep.

Last night, when I did this, I must have been feeling particularly sentimental since I stood there a little longer than usual. I looked at Caroline and how she lays so high up on her pillow that only her bottom half is on the mattress and how she was so completely asleep that she wasn't even sucking her thumb. I listened to her breathe and how her blond hair was sweaty from sleeping, as it usually is. I thought about how imaginative she is and how interesting of a perspective she has on the world right now. I love how when she wants to tell you a story, she uses all these words like "well" and "actually" and how her stories end up being long and meandering but really tell me about how much she's got going on in her little mind. I love how she speaks and how she is so interested in describing the way she sees the world. I'm fascinated by her ability to stay in character for days at a time and really pretend to be a cat or a certain fictional character. And I just adore how much she loves to sing and dance around when she hears a song that she just loves. And finally, I love that she still calls us mommy and daddy and sees us as the people whose lives revolve around hers. She wakes up early just to see us and resists going to sleep to be with us even longer - even on the weekends! And even though she doesn't always ask to be held and cuddled as much as her brother, she still needs lots of it.

And then there's Bryce, my little boy who has a terrible case of the "whys?" right now. How he usually wakes up at 7am on the dot on the weekends and proclaims that the "sun's up!" and then he asks you why it's up. And then, how much he likes to cuddle and kiss me when we crawl back into mommy and daddy's bed for a few more minutes of rest before the day begins. I've never loved being kissed and hugged so much! I love how silly he is and how he's always answering questions with his "do do" phrase. And it just cracks me up how he can guzzle down a cup of juice or milk in just a few seconds and then be shivering because he ingested all that cold fluid so quickly. I never want to forget how much he loves talking on the phone to everyone and always ends each conversation with a kiss to the keypad. And I wish he'd never lose his excitement for the little things like mommy or daddy arriving home from an outing but I am realistic and know that won't always be the case. But most of all, I can't get enough of him wanting to be loved. He needs hugs and kisses almost as much as most other kids need food and we happily oblige him because not kissing chubby little face and hugging his soft little body is hard to do when he is constantly in your lap and just giving you little smiles that are just asking for some love.

So yes, I was feeling quite motherly last night while I was saying my silent good nights to the kids. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day habits/schedule and to forget to notice all the little things going on around you because it's the little things that we'll miss when they're gone or not even realize are gone until much later. I'm trying to soak up all these moments because it already seems like time is flying by. They are growing so fast and I'm afraid to blink because they won't be little for long.


viv said...

Awwwwwwwww :)

BJ said...

wonderful post - this is one to save to share with the kids when they are older.

Nights like that make it all worth it!

Katie said...

What a sweet and well-written post!

Anonymous said...

As I read I could feel your emotions as a mother...so well written! Your description captured motherhood perfectly. Many nights in the past I have experienced the same as I watched you and your siblings sleep and your post brought it all back as if it were last night...very beautiful. As a grandmother I've done the same thing when Caroline and Bryce have spent the night at my house. Thank you for describing it so eloquently :-)

Erin said...

(sniffle) :)

Kelly said...

I'm sitting at my computer at work fighting the tears from spilling over!