I love my children when they are sleeping

“I love them.  I love them.  I love them”.  I remind myself as I chant this mantra these last few days before school begins.  The chaos that seems to have consumed my house these last weeks has brought me to a boiling point.  Their incessant need for me to watch them perform one more show, listen to one more song they play on the piano or look at one more picture they’ve drawn… if I have to play one more game of make believe I think I will poke my eyes out!

“Mom, can I…”

“Mom, will you…”

“Mom, watch this!”

But then at night, as I tuck them into bed, reading them one last story, getting them one last sip of water, turning on that hall light to scare away the monsters, and leaving the door open “just a little bit”- I remember that I DO love them.  The house is quiet and my kids are perfect.  Yes, I love my children so powerfully and so profoundly… when they are sleeping.

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One thought on “I love my children when they are sleeping

  1. yes, sleep showed you guys as the angelic cherubs that you were but i always loved the Limbo times… those times that occurred just as you were drifting off or right after you woke up. they were the best for me because your guard was down, you were vulnerable and i could get away with almost anything. i remember coaxing your sister into staying up and watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers with me. it was already past her usual bed time and once the movie ended she sleepily slunk off to bed. just as she began to drift off, i noisily “sneaked” into her room with two pods from the bottle trees in the front yard. they looked remarkably like mini versions of the pods that stole people’s identity in the movie and i placed them on the night stand next to her bed. even though she was successful in groggily pleading me into taking them out of the room, she still remembers that she spent a restless night. waking to the realization that she has dodged replication did not dissuade her from feeling, even to this day, that it was a bad joke. ahhhh, memories.

    on a summer morning, it was my duty to go in and wake you for the day. i had found a butterfly in the back yard that was freshly hatched but crippled and could not fly. i put it on my shoulder and went in to wake you. “Honey…. wake up….. time to greet another day….. wake uuuh-uup.” you slowly rolled over toward the sound of my voice, stretched and glanced up at me. even in the dimly lit room, there was just enough illlumination that you could still see that something was wrong. there was something sitting and moving on my shoulder. “Daddy, there’s…. there’s something….. there’s a butterfly on your shoulder.” i casually responded, “oh no honey, you must still be asleep …. you’re dreaming. c’mon, time to get going.” you unfolded to a seated position, “no Daddy, really, there’s a butterfly sitting on your shoulder!!!” “oh you’re just fooling with me MaryLynn, let’s go, time to drag out of bed” and then i exited the room. i quickly hid the butterfly high in the book case as i heard you gathering speed in pursuit. you caught me in the kitchen, still accusing me of being wrong and looking frantically for some evidence of the butterfly. yup. i loved you guys in those Limbo times.

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