It’s bedtime. Brooke and I lie side by side on her bed. Daddy and Katie are gone, having already performed their roles in the elaborate evening dance. The fish tank gurgles its soothing lullaby. The sparkly lava lamp throws its soft light into the room – pink, then purple, then blue, then green. Brooke is overtaken by giggles; the joke hers alone. I bathe in her laughter. It has the power to heal.
It’s time for me to say goodnight. I know it’s time. But I’m loathe to go.
I reach out a hand. “You ready to do our nines?” I ask.
“No,” she says. “You would stay and cuddle some more.”
“Baby?” I say.
The only answer is a squeal – a last echo of her subsiding laughter.
“You are the most perfect little creature to ever walk this Earth.”
“I am?” she asks. Her eyes glisten in the pink light.
There’s something in those eyes. Always has been. Beautiful, raw energy. Life.*
“Yup. Ya know why?” I ask, nuzzling her ear.
“Why?” she asks in return.
This give and take – this volley – this conversation – I will never, ever, ever take it for granted.
“Because God made you.”
“Yup. And I am so lucky that I get to be your Mama.”
I give her a squeeze. I’d love to stay, but we both need our sleep. “It’s time now, kiddo.”
I hold out my arm. She puts hers on top of mine and we count out nine taps, then one for good luck. Always one for good luck.
“Good night my sweet baby,” I say.
She turns her face into the scrum of stuffed animals.
“Good night sweet baby Mama.”
I kiss her one last time and head out the door, my soul renewed.
But sometimes, the words are already there. It’s just a matter of remembering to say them out loud.
* We made this little video for my cousin last night. I’ve watched it twenty times since. I’m sharing it just in case you didn’t believe me when I said, “There’s something in those eyes. Always has been. Beautiful, raw energy. Life.”
See for yourself ..