soon we'll shut the windows at night and the crickets will no longer sing her off to dreamland. tonight I lay next to her as she fell asleep, her warm breath on my neck and that soft little arm rested ever-so-lightly on my chest. there were (and are) times that I found (find) myself resenting our long drawn out bedtime un-routine that always, always ends with her and me snuggled up together until sleep finally claims her for the night. sometimes it is draining, sometimes I feel trapped by that little arm and that hot breath on my neck, sometimes I am sick of telling made-up stories and reading chapters and I think there are better places for me to be. but tonight was not one of those times. tonight I lay quietly, listening to the crickets, the train, the cars whooshing by a street away... to her breath changing from awake breath to the telltale now-mama-can-sneak-away breath. tonight, I was in no rush to sneak off. I reveled in the coziness and snuggled further under the comforter, my nose a bit chilly from the cool autumn breeze sneaking in through the cracked windows.
we hold out until it is ridiculous to leave them cracked open.
I thought about her and I, and I thought about her warm body next to mine. about how she says things like "I'll live with you forever, mama" and "snuggle me closer mama, I want to hold you, mama". I thought about the cracked windows and the night sounds, about how soon they'll be closed and the night sounds will consist mostly of the steady humming of the fan on the wood stove. another season gone by, another one started. I thought about how soon she'll be bigger than I can imagine right at this moment, how she'll eventually realize her plan to live with me forever won't be the one she actually wants to stick with. I hope she's always game for snuggles, though. and for holding me. because I think as things change and her little wings spread more and more, as the window of what and where we are right now slowly closes and new doors open, I'll need her to hold me a bit now and then. and I'll wish like anything for those long-ago evenings of warm breath on my neck and doughy little arms on my chest, for the way her little body fit perfectly against mine and the way my words of nonsense at bedtime provided just what she needed to feel her way safely into slumber.
there are no better places for me to be.