I woke up this morning a lot earlier than intended because there were little feet tangled up in my legs. There was an arm belonging to the feet draped across my neck, and there was a little head nestled into my shoulder.
I don’t really like to be bugged when I sleep. I’m a ridiculously light sleeper; my poor husband knows that if he turns on a light downstairs, breathes heavily or rolls over a lot, I’m up and then I’m up for hours. The whole day, usually.
So my day began at 4 am and I was pretty crabby about it.
“Ugh!” I thought crabbily, as my brain started ticking away with my worries and to-dos. “Now I’m up. I can’t wait for the day these kids don’t come crawling in my bed!”
I got up without disturbing the invader and walked down the stairs, thinking, “I can’t wait for the day there aren’t handprints going down the stairs! Clean walls, that’s what I’ll have.”
“Hmpf,” I grumbled in the kitchen, “Someday I won’t have to make these lunches every morning. The kids won’t expect seasonally appropriate jokes on their napkins (What do you call a really old snowman? Water!) and I won’t have to have all this dumb environmentally friendly packing cluttering my cabinets.”
As the day went on, that was my paradigm.
Someday my mornings won’t include anyone saying, “It IS clean. I barely wore it yesterday.”
Someday I won’t be a breakfast short-order cook, mentally calculating grams of protein.
(Eggs? Cheese? Yogurt? C'mon, pick one.)
Someday I won’t ask one single person, “Did you poop or do you need Miralax?”
Someday I won’t have to tie shoelaces (“You do it tighter!) or brush hair (“It doesn’t hurt when you do it!”).
Someday I won’t have to put on a bra to walk to school in 20-degree weather.
(Yup, I was still crabby.)
Someday I won’t have to step over Nerf guns on the stairs.
Someday I won’t have to fold so many piles of laundry.
Someday I won’t have to remember to buy Goldfish or Cheerios at the store.
(A thought, quickly banished: Will these aisles make me feel nostalgic? Sad, even?)
Someday I won’t get football-tackle hugs outside the elementary school at 3:00.
(Oh, but I do love those after-school hugs.)
Someday I won’t get asked to help with homework.
Someday they’ll ask for the keys instead of a ride.
(Oh, right. I guess so.)
Someday I won’t have to correct manners at every meal.
(But we’ll still be having family dinners, right? Yes, right?)
Someday I won’t be able to sing the entire Phineas and Ferb theme song.
Someday I won’t lay down with my children and say prayers at night.
(Um, but the whole “If I die before I wake” thing – isn’t it risky to not say prayers?)
Someday no one will ask me to “activate” their dream catcher.
(Really? A world with inactive dream catchers?)
Someday no one will come find me because a bad dream was scary and a parent’s hug will make it vanish.
(Totally unacceptable. My superpowers...where will I use them?)
And someday no affectionate, sleepy kid will come crawling in my bed and wrap his or her arms and legs around me.
(Sniff. Sob. I can't bear it.)
Tonight I was sitting on the couch with a book, well past Caroline’s bedtime. She came down and silently sat next to me. She snuggled up and said, “Can we cuddle? Just for five minutes? I’ll sleep better.”
And as I put down my book and held her close, I said, “Guess what?”
“So will I.”