I’d have a thousand children if only they could stay unconscious. Asleep, just like this, in this bed.
A conscious child is one type of marvel, but a sleeping kid is cool on a whole other level.
When my children sleep I am my best version of me- my proudest me, my most loving me. I love my children a substantial amount more when they’re unresponsive.
The truth is that my most cherished moment of parenthood is this – when I don’t really have to be one.
This right here is my bliss, this is my parenting accomplishment. When I get to opt out, when I get to go off duty.
I act each night at this time as if I’m getting away with murder- smug, with glee.
And I think it’s ok to admit.
It’s ok to enjoy the exhale, the release.
Because how could I possibly love them more than in the here and now, when they’re in their little fleecy footy pyjamas with drool dripping from the corner of their mouths, little boogies are swinging like a pendulum from their drippy noses and berry stains grace their cheeks?
How could I love them more than when their hair has the crusty yogurt in it from their bedtime snack and the back of their head’s locks are matting back into its more preferred bedheaded state?
Each night’s closing chapter is a cole’s notes version of the day that was.
Reminding me they’re my miraculous messes.
Miraculously mine, and also so miraculously silent.
Nights like these ones make me believe in a higher power, because when my children fall asleep like people inform me children ought to do before midnight and before every last ounce of my energy is gone, I am seriously grateful- because this right here is the moneyshot of a contented family. This is the only time of day I remember what it feels like to relax my shoulders and release the space between my eyebrows.
This is when I let go.
And after ten minutes of staring at their filthy little growing bodies, ten minutes of ensuring their twitching calves and fingers are truly granting me my freedom, I snake my body out from between theirs, stealth ninja style, and replace the cozy flannel sheet and the cotton duvet over their heaving baby chests.
And just like that I’m free from grubby hands and whiny demands and all of the tears. Like that, my body and my brain morphs back into belonging to me alone. And I can adult again, just as soon as I get to the other side of the bedroom door.
And as I make my way to it, jittering with excitement and ensuring not to step in the floor’s middle, where the creak occurs, I look back.
And I realize that despite all the bullshit that a day can bring with all its ups and its bigger downs, this right here makes it worth it. That this is why I’m here to live life alongside these little humans- so I can appreciate moments like this.
As the door closes and the knob clicks I hold my breath.
The day is done, and my night begins. And the adulting begins- and in that preliminary chapter, the hallway holds space for my happy dance once again, ice cream tub in hand.