Tonight I snuck upstairs to give the kiddos kisses before they feel asleep and found their room transformed into an elaborate fort. Blankets were draped across the room, fastened to bedposts with hair elastics and secured over stepstools with piles of picture books. I climbed through a crack in the blankets into the magical world Husband had created for the Daughters to sleep in and found my sweet daughters, tucked away ready to dream.
Second Daughter was curled up next to the dresser in a nest made of stuffed animals, pillow pets, and blankets. She was long gone, so I kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear for her to have sweet dreams and that I loved her.
First Daughter was laying with her body half under the bunkbed, and being her father's daughter her face was positioned two feet away from the fan.
Third Daughter was in the middle of the floor with her pillow, her blankie, and her fingers in her mouth.
I lied down on First Daughter's pillow and asked her about the dinner + movie date she went on with her sisters, Aunt, and Uncle. I listened to her talk about the movie, Panda Express, and playing the Wii until bedtime. Third Daughter scooted her pillow over next to us and cuddled up to me while we listened to First Daughter. Second Daughter remained peaceful and still, asleep by us in her nest.
First Daughter asked me to stay until she fell asleep. And so I did.
She draped her arm across my body, and I felt it grow heavier and heavier with each breath she took closer to sleep. We layed together under the patchwork canopy, so similar to the forts I slept under with my brothers as a child, and I listened to my babies fall alseep. Oh how I loved that moment, and want to create it again and again.
I dream about ending our days as the loving, patient mother I want to be. I want my children to end their days feeling loved and safe. I want to have enough, and give enough, until the drift off each night to sleep. But the reality is - more often than not, bedtime does not go that way. Most days I have very little left to give at bedtime. We go through our routine - baths, jammies, stories, prayers, bed. I walk away from children asking for more, and I tell them I am done.
I usually end my days in prayer asking Heavenly Father to strengthen me and to help me do better tomorrow.
But tonight was the dream.
Tonight was one of those moments that I know I'll remember and I hope my children will.
Nights like tonight is why I love being a mommy.
Because that small tender moments was such a tremendous gift.
And it was so wonderful.