The day grew shorter today, as we said goodbye to another hour of sunlight to dance in, and hello to the chilly mystery of night. Tonight, as every one before it has come and gone, we began our ritual, one that I look forward to, and will never forget.
Every night, like clockwork, we complete the journey from energy to rest, from pj’s to teeth brushing to good nights for Daddy and little cherub boy, as they ascend the stairs to his nest.
As the footsteps trail away, and the lights dim to hibernation mode, she climbs in next to me, bundling in the cocoon of “glorious bed,” as she calls it. We giggle, chat about our day, and read a bedtime story, like my own mother did for me so many years ago. I am always requested to recite the same wish that’s become both her comfort blanket and a hope for the new dawn coming. If I forget, she reminds me.
Then, the day is done.
As she stills her mind and body, I watch her travel to the twilight realm of sleep, part one. Few but I ever see such tranquility in the wildfire soul who trusts me to carry her into blissful slumber as we put another day to bed.
As I continue to read something of my own, she curls up next to me, making sure her hand, elbow, or foot connects with me—I feel like an anchor to a ship prone to drifting, and it gives me purpose. She steadies her breathing and matches the cadence of ocean waves echoing in the background of this sacred time, and my own typically rapid heartbeat slows, finally at peace.
I know she will not remain by my side, as her father carries this damsel to her tower bed, and away from the warm burrow she’s made next to me. A piece of me would be okay if she snuggled here forever.
I have been gifted these moments of contemplation in order to be reminded to hold tight to her while I can, because some day, she will cling to me less tightly, and seek the independence of her own room, no special goodnight needed.
I feel the weight of my own heavy lids signaling me to put down my read, turn off the light, and melt into sleep.
Before I shut my eyes, I say a prayer for her dreams to be sweet, and for God to watch over our family and keep them safe.
I take one last look at her small profile in silhouette, the curve of her cheek, the tilt of her nose, the smooth brow free from wrinkles of worry. She’s so much different in the night.
For now, I’ll just tuck away the bittersweet and savor the lovely little routine we have carved out of our days together.
To my one and only girl, you are so loved. Sweet dreams.
-Kindred Spirit- 11.1.20