Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Snuggle Me!

Our children never slept in our bed with us when they were little. When we brought our newborn baby home from the hospital, we set up one of those cradles for her to sleep in between us. Within a few hours we both knew we'd never sleep well with her between us. Occasionally, on vacation or if one of our kiddos was sick, we would have them in our bed, but it never seemed to be conducive to actually sleeping. When I was a child though, there was nowhere safer than in between my parents in their bed. I wondered if my children would never feel that way, and then this summer something changed.

When my mother in law fell ill, my husband went down to San Diego to be with her. What started as a night here and there, turned into weeks and months of him out of town. Naturally, we all missed him. Within a few days my son asked if he could sleep in "daddy's spot".  Now he knows that when my husband is out of town, he gets to be the man of the house. Soon after he bunked with me, my daughter started a new tradition of setting her alarm a few minutes early so she could cuddle in the morning next to me. This has been a win-win for all of us. I absolutely love having them next to me when I wake up. It is something I am so grateful for these days, and I know it is fleeting.

Last week we went on the middle school tour, so we could get a sense of what next year will be like. I really don't understand how time seems to be flying by so fast that my baby is about to go to middle school. I definitely don't understand how I'm old enough to have a middle schooler, but regardless, the time is coming. With that, comes her moodiness, independence and a maturity that may have her choosing to stay in her own bed for those precious extra minutes next year. I hope I'm wrong, but in case I am, I am treasuring these snuggles.

In the middle of the night, my son will sometimes say "Mommy, snuggle me." I draw him close and kiss the top of his head. If he is cold he will hug me and no matter what, I'll never be the one to let go first. Even if he falls asleep on top of my arm, it's worth it. It is a pretty magical way to wake up in the morning, with my two children on either side of me. I breath them in, cuddle them close and take a moment before having to dreadfully get out of bed.

When my mother-in-law passed away, she took her last breath with all four of her children and her husband right next to her. I am not sure what she was thinking in that moment, but I know that she was in heaven just having them all next to her. Our experiences keep challenging and changing us. It can feel like a whirlwind, so when I can slow it down and hold my family close, I do. My prayer is that the last feeling of love for my mother-in-law lasts forever. Little by little our family is finding it's new normal and when all four of us get to snuggle together, everything feels right.

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