On New Year's Eve, 2014, I walked into Ace's bedroom to read her a bedtime story. She had picked out Love You Forever for the first time. When I saw it on top of the lilac covers, my step hitched slightly. I took a deep breath and swung into my fake calm mom voice. "You ready for bed? Do you have a book picked out?" Holy crap, I'm not sure I'm ready to read her this story!
It probably would have been a good moment to have an amazing mother-daughter talk, but she didn't ask me any questions, and I couldn't find any words to capture my emotions at the time either. I finished the story, and went through our normal nighttime routine: turning on her ladybug light, offering her a drink of water, putting her book back on the shelf, turning off the big lights in the room, giving her a series of hugs and kisses, and finally exchanging a gradually quieter and quieter, "Night-night, love you," as I tiptoe from her bed and out her door.
It's my favorite part of the day. No matter how much Ace, or her little brother, drive me crazy during the day, no matter how many times I close the bathroom door and cry because I am obviously a horrible mother, no matter how many times I think I can't quite possibly do this another minute or day, at bedtime when I snuggle up with both of them one-on-one and ask them about their day and read a story and kiss and hug them goodnight and watch their tiny faces relax into peaceful sleeping babes, my heart fills with love and joy and I am instantly renewed and reminded that
I will love them forever,
I will like them for always,
As long as I'm living,
My babies they will be.
I'm not sure if I will crawl through windows to secretly snuggle with them at night when they have grown and left home, but I might.
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