I’m in mourning. It’s a kick to the gut, a lump in the throat, a dagger to the heart, a grieving of what once was.
I’m not ready for this. I’m not too fond of change. Why do they have to grow so fast? Why can’t they stay little for just a little longer? Just a little? My 7-year-old doesn’t want her 5-year-old brother to sleep in her bed anymore at night. I know. I know. I know. Not a big deal, right?
But, to me, it’s just another segue to her independence that my mama heart ain’t ready for.
These sweet siblings started sleeping together a few years ago when little bro was ready for a big boy bed, and he realized he didn’t want to sleep by himself. Those six-eyed monsters under the bed are “real poopy-heads.” Apparently.
Therefore, his sweet sis invited him to a “sleepover” in her room, and it just never really stopped until now.
Years of tucking them both into bed, snug as a bug in a rug under that fluffy pink pottery barn comforter.
Years of laughter shared secrets and hushed whispers when they were supposed to be sleeping.
Years of laying with them and telling them stories that always turned into “please, mommy, just one more.”
Years of singing them to sleep with renditions of “You are my sunshine” and “The Ants Go Marching” until they drifted off to sleep.
Do you know precisely how many ants there are that go marching? 9,746. Yes. There are 9,746. At least in our house, there were.
So many nights, I would begin to leave the room and stop just staring at these two little bear cubs, all snuggled up on each other and praising the Lord that they were mine. I know I’m not worthy of such a miraculous gift. I would thank God over and over again for giving me these sweet little souls. And, I always will.
And then some nights were never-ending. All those nights that they didn’t want me to leave till they were fast asleep. I’ll admit. I’d get frustrated as my mind would race with all those things I wasn’t getting done. The laundry, checking emails, catching up on my Keith Morrison on Dateline. Ya, know, priorities.
How foolish was I to not see that these precious moments wouldn’t last forever, and soon enough, my daughter would be kicking her little brother out of her room? And, with that, she kicked me out too.
Slumber party’s over, fellas.
I never expected it to affect me the way it did. I guess every little step of independence she takes is a step away from me that I’m certainly not ready for. She did at least say that she will miss her little brother waking her up each morning with a kiss on the cheek and an “I love you, Finley.” Melt. My. Heart!
And, yes, I realize that can’t last forever because, yeah, that would be weird. We don’t do that here in these parts. But a mom can dream, right?
Our new bedtime routine now consists of reading a story at bedtime to her and her brother. And, when it’s time for lights out, her brother and I trudge back slowly to his room.
He snuggles up to me so tightly. The same way he used to do with his big sister not so long ago. I take in the sweet smell of his hair and listen to his cute, little snores knowing that this moment won’t last for long, for I am just a placeholder until he decides to invite his little brother into his room at night for a “sleepover” that will turn into another few years’ worth of treasured memories.