Monday, March 31, 2014


Days like today I claim four bedtimes. The privilege of having three kids is I dozed off three times already this evening. The trick is to stagger their readiness for sleep. The boy always goes last because he naps during the school day. The girls: we try to alternate who goes first. Tonight I read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods with E, and then she fell asleep in my arms. Then I read two Robert Munsch stories to L and she fell asleep in my arms. Then G chose two construction equipment picture books and he fell asleep holding my ear.

They all sleep if we don't hold them; we've outgrown the stage where we're physically needed. Sometimes they call for the lovely husband. Often he and I split the duties: he'll read, I'll snuggle, switch. We play musical beds until only the two of us are awake. But some nights each kid picks Mama and the lovely husband smiles and reads his book in our own bed, waking me and waking me and waking me again. I smile, too, because they are entropy in body form, bouncing and unfurling and uncoiling against gravity. Then they slow and become words only. I hear all their secrets and nerves and small moments of accomplishment. Then they still, and they're so warm, and tucked in so perfectly; my own mind that struggles at stillness slows against their heartbeats and the truth is I love falling asleep in their beds.

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. She always loves to hold her kids at night, though. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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