Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

‎The dishwasher hums.

The clothes are folded, still warm from the dryer, and I tuck the basket under my arm to carry up the stairs.

The lunches are packed, the backpacks sit by the door, the shoes are lined up on the mat.

The order forms for school pictures have been completed; boxes filled, cheques written, envelopes sealed.

The fish have been fed.

The door is locked.

The weight of the day has settled on my shoulders.

I make my way up the stairs and tiptoe into first one room and then the other.

The hair is brushed out of her eyes and a kiss placed softly on her cheek.

The radio is turned off, the blanket placed close enough for him to find it when he reaches out for it through the night, as I know he will.

I tiptoe back out, blowing each one last kiss.

The teeth are brushed, the face is washed, the lines around my eyes are examined.

The clothes are ironed and hung on the back of the door, waiting for tomorrow.

The feet are slipped under the blankets.

The alarm is set.

The glasses are put on the table where I can reach for them in the morning.

The head rests on the pillow.

A sigh escapes my lips as my hand reaches out and finds its home, wrapped in the warmth of another.

The day is done.

It will start all over again tomorrow but for right now, let’s turn out the lights and enjoy the stillness, whispering in the dark.

Good night.

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I don’t remember the last time you slept in bed with us.  You used to do it all the time; I used to dream of the day when it would stop.  You manage to take up a lot of room for a little person and your knees and elbows always found their way into the small of my back, digging around between my ribs.

I don’t remember the last time you reached out to hold my hand to cross the street.  Now when I try to reach for yours you roll your eyes at me and whine “moooooooom.”  Apparently you’re too old for things like that.

I don’t remember the last time you cried when you went to school or daycare or to your grandparents.  You always went fairly willingly without us, always yearning for a new adventure, the next challenge you could tackle alone.

I don’t remember the last time I read a story to you without you reading along with me.  I am so excited that you can experience the wonder of reading books by yourself; opening doors to a whole other world for you.  But I miss reading out loud to you, rocking with you in our chair which neither one of us really fits in anymore, let alone together.

I do remember the last time you used a bottle and how proud of you we were for finally giving them up.  At the time we thought you would never willingly throw them away.  We spent many hours coming up with strategies and tricks to get you to move to a sippy cup.  I was sure we had somehow ruined you, your teeth, your stomach, by letting you use them as long as we did.  Now I wish I wouldn’t have made such a big deal about it.

I do remember the last time you rode a bike with training wheels.  You were so desperate to be a big girl.  I could see you sitting on your “little kid” bike at the end of the driveway, watching with envy as other neighbourhood kids rode by on their two-wheelers.  I wanted to tell you that it’s okay; not to rush; to enjoy being a kid as long as you could.  I knew you wouldn’t listen even if I did say the words out loud.

I do remember the last time you fit into the dress that my grandmother had made for me.  You pranced around the living room in it, even though the zipper would barely close and it was about 4 inches too short.  After I managed to convince you to change out of it I tucked it away in your closet so you wouldn’t pull it out and try to wear it again.  Now it will be put away as it was for the years before you wore it.  Put away to be pulled out years from now, maybe when you have a daughter yourself and maybe she’ll dance around in it just the way you did, that last time.

Happy 8th birthday to my baby girl.  So often being a parent is about the “first times.”  The first step, the first word, the first smile.  You’ve taught me that it’s the “last times” that really mean the most.

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