I’m constantly amazed at all the different rituals parents have with their children – while this was never the intention with this year’s theme, it’s been fun to see the progression. Enjoy and dive into my friend Nicole T. Walter’s words today, and who knows? Maybe it’ll prompt an extra snuggle out of those nearest and dearest to you. Lots of love!
It happens every night. Sometimes it is tiny little tiptoes and sometimes it is a tired, clumsy climb up. Regardless of how they get there, every morning I wake up to find two little bodies intertwined with mine. My son, just four, snuggles between my husband and I while his sister, six, curls up firmly against me.
Sometimes I tell other moms that the kids end up in bed with us every night and they gasp, “I would never let my kids do that.” I usually sleep like the dead, so it doesn’t disturb my sleep when they crawl into bed. But it is those morning hours that I would never trade for the world.
I wake to find two little blonde heads laying on one part of me or another. I usually try to get up the first time my alarm breaks through my sleep, but their presence holds me there. I cuddle deeper into the covers and warmth of four bodies nestled into a queen size bed.
I can’t pull myself from their sweet embrace just yet.
It isn’t natural for me to be able to take moments to just hold them. I am so “Type A” that slowing down is literally work for me. Extreme drivenness, mile-long to-do lists, multi-tasking and the drive to be perfect – these things come easily for me. It is slowing down that is hard.
As soon as that first ring of the alarm sounds, my mind starts racing. Most days I wake up already feeling behind, wishing I had gotten up earlier so I could get more tasks done before the day really begins and the kids awaken.
My tendency is to jump out of bed and into the day ahead, listening to the voices in my head telling me all I need to accomplish.
But there are these two little reminders in my bed. Their sweet sleeping faces pull me back for a moment.
I know it won’t always be this way.
So this has become the ritual of my day that reminds me to slow down and not take a moment for granted. Some nights that I am feeling extra rushed, I can’t wait to hold them. I need that sweet feeling of slow, so I scoop their tiny bodies up in my arms and nestle into bed with them.
I certainly don’t cherish every minute. Life gets busy and I rush them through the day more often than I should. I nod and smile while not really listening sometimes when they tell the same story over and over.
But there are other moments, too.
I will be walking my preschooler down the hall to class and he reaches up to grab my hand. I close my eyes for a minute and try to memorize the exact size of his hand in mine. I run my finger over the back of his thumb and try to slow my walking so that short hall feels a little longer.
I know there will come a day, probably not too far in the future, when it won’t be cool to hold mommy’s hand anymore. His fingers will be bigger than mine someday and won’t fit so perfectly into the palm of my hand.
Every night before I go to bed, usually much too late because I have been up getting all those tasks done, I kneel down in the nightlight’s glow. Since mommy and daddy aren’t available yet, he his found his way into big sister’s room.
I lay my head on their chests; I close my eyes and just hold them in the dark. I breathe prayers over them that I may not have found time in the hectic day to pray. I thank the Lord for these quiet moments and ask for more of them.
Help me to slow down, God. It is all going too fast. Help me to just hold onto them with all my might.
Then, I crawl into bed and spend a few precious moments with their dad. We know there will be little arms prying their way between us soon.
Then, we quickly fall into welcome sleep, listening for the approach of little feet.
Nicole T. Walters is a writer from metro Atlanta who has written for Relevant.com, Her.meneutics, SheLoves Magazine and is a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild. Nicole blogs about faith and being on mission wherever God has placed you at nicoletwalters.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. It’s Cara again: Even though we don’t have littles who join us in bed most mornings, this kind of makes me want to MAKE them plop into our queen with us. Room for all, room for all! Leave Nicole a note and tell her how much you appreciated her words, will you?