L saw a good thing and began asking for bedtime snuggles from me after her daddy leaves her room. Here's a secret: I treasure this request. Since almost forever she's been a daddy's girl, preferring his affections and consolations over mine. I always shrugged about it but with the nighttime snuggle requests have come a new physical affection from her in the daytime, too. So I snuggle and I snuggle and don't tell her sister, L gets more than two minutes.
The lovely husband leaves L's room and we like to believe L is at least half asleep before I get in there. The deal is that she is supposed to stay lying down as the snuggle shift's bell tolls. But last night for the first night I entered her room to find her sitting up on her knees. She was mostly hidden from view, sitting as she was on her bed between the window and the window shade. She didn't notice me for several minutes (long enough to back out, get the camera, take this picture, back out again, put the camera down and return).
Sunset is near 9pm right now where we live and so maybe asking her to fall asleep in a bed next to a window is impossibly unfair. I climbed in bed with her and lifted the shade. She didn't even look at me, so intently did she meditate on the vista of our backyard.
"What are you looking at, love?"
I like the shining things.
"Those are the fireflies. Remember that word? Remember we tried catching some on Saturday night?"
The shireshlies. I like the shireshlies.
We sat together in silence, watching a thousand tiny beacons of light make merry in the shadows of our home.
And finally, quietly, we lay down together. I kissed her a thousand hugs and I hugged her a thousand kisses and I tiptoed a thousand tiny steps away and I hope her dreams shone.