Last Thoughts at Night

Dear Kids,

When you were babies I got into the habit of checking on you each night before I went to bed. I wanted to make sure you were still breathing. I know that probably sounds paranoid, but if you ever have babies of your own, then maybe you’ll understand.

I still check on you most nights, and I still sometimes pause until I hear you breathe. I used to give you each a kiss on the cheek but, as you got older, that would sometimes make you start. I don’t want to interrupt your sleep, so I don’t do that anymore.

Marshall used to sleep with so many toys in his bed that there was no room for him. I used to put them away, and then, because he used to sleep too close to the edge of the bed, I would put pillows on the floor, just in case he fell out of bed. Then it was Livia for whom I did those extra things. Not anymore, though. Livia sometimes still has a few too many stuffed animals, but not usually enough to crowd her out of her own bed.

Livia likes to sleep with her comforter over her head. It used to be that if I pulled the comforter off her head, she would take a long, deep breath, as if grateful for the cool influx of air into her lungs. Now she usually pulls it right back over her head. So much for that idea.

Lately, sometimes one or both of you is awake. Livia was still reading at 10:30 the other night, and she begged to be allowed to continue, because she was just three pages away from the end. (Aw! She’s so much like her mommy!) Because I’m a reader who knows what it’s like to want to stay up to finish a book, I let her. But, because I’m a mom, I also told her not to do it again.

This routine can’t last much longer. You don’t seem to mind me checking in on you for now. If you’re awake, sometimes you even have things that you want talk to me about. Eventually this routine of mine will become unwelcome, though, and I want to give it up before it does, which means soon. It’ll be a tough routine to break. You’re still my first thoughts in the morning and my last thoughts at night.



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