Sometimes, the boys request to fall asleep in my bed, not often, but sometimes. And as the wife of someone who works long hard hours, usually past our bedtimes, I tend to cave into the comfort of being surrounded with those I love. It's a fine balance. My door is always open, a spot is welcome under the covers and my arms will forever wrap around whoever tip toes into our bed. But sometimes, this is my space. It's where I crawl or crash at the end of a long day, it's where I dive under flannel sheets with my novel I can't seem to put down and, on rare occasions, it's where I work on my laptop or watch a show, which I usually fall asleep while doing. My days are long, and sometimes I seek comfort in these rituals.
Like I said, it's a fine balance.
But when my boys plead or beg, clasp their hands together tightly and jump up and down with enthusiastic little plods, I know I have already caved. Deep down the comfort of keeping them near brings me happiness. Our warm cuddles, where legs intertwine and stories are whispered, are the perfect ending to any evening. On nights like these I can draw the curtains to a close, turn off the lights and know my job has been done.
I can remember back to my childhood, I was around the same age as my oldest, when I would tip toe down the long endless hallway to my parent's bedroom. No matter how high I stood on my toes, the wooden floors always creaked, singing a song into the darkness of night. I remember the feeling when I finally reached carpet, and I would quickly shuffle my akward feet until I reached my mother's side. I knew she would cave. She always did.
As a mother, a grown woman, I know the comfort those simple moments brought my mother. I would never understand how it felt if I didn't have my own children, if I didn't have their feet to shuffle across floors, to whisper in ears, to draw close to comfort. When the boys spend the night at my parents my mom always makes it a point to tell me that "so and so" came into her bed in the middle of the night. And she always says it with a smile, as if she yearned for that closeness.
As a mother, I've learned that you constantly yearn for that closeness, you constantly want to draw the souls of your children in closer, to hold their hands tighter and whisper "I love you's" forever.