With Bug and Squish, I often raced to this moment every night with an eye on the glass of wine that awaited.
With Pumpkin, I am in no hurry. Ever. I don't hope the day will come to an end. I don't look at each developmental milestone as some kind of token we collect to be traded in for a big prize. I hold her, we rock, she dozes, and we breathe.
Tonight as I set her down in the crib, her eyes popped open. With the other two monkeys, I probably panicked and stayed in the room to tend to something or other. Tonight I just whispered, "I love you," as I picked up my water bottle and left the room.
Not many minutes later, it was time to join Bug and Squish for their bedtime routine. We read stories and even finished Bug's chapter book.
The three of us snuggled in the bottom bunk (as we always do). Bug fell asleep. Squish seemed asleep. I sat up and arranged the covers on them as they slept.
Bug rolled over and lobbed his long arm across the bed, landing on Squish's face. Squish opened his eyes and requested that I stay for a few more minutes.
A few minutes later, I left.
Five minutes later, Squish came downstairs to the family room. He was covering his eyes as if the lights were too much for such a sensitive soul. As he got close to me, he opened his eyes, smiled, and said, "Momma! I'm scared."
I walked him back upstairs and offered to snuggle up for a few minutes. He said, "You smell like the hotel."
"I do? What hotel?"
"Oh, right. Which one is that?" I asked.
"Our hotel in Rochester!" Squish explained.
I left him sleepy (again) and went downstairs (again).
Squish came downstairs (again).
He explained that he was scared (again).
This time I suggested my husband take him back upstairs to show him that there is nothing to worry about.
My husband took Squish's little hand and said, "C'mon, bud. You're the god of lightning. Remember? You don't need to be scared of anything."