It's quiet in my house tonight. Gary had to go away to the beach for work for a few days. He called to say good night to Juliet and we used FaceTime on our phones so Juliet could see him. She put her chubby little finger to the phone and squealed, Dada! Dada! It made my heart soar to see my little girl so gleefully in love with her daddy.
I tell Juliet to pick out a book to read and she pulls four of them from her bookshelf. I read to her while she hides behind the rocking chair and tucks her head around with a sneaky smile to make sure I know she's hiding. Audrey is wrapped up on me, fussing a bit because I keep standing and sitting, leaning this way and that. Then we say our prayers for the night, "Thank you Jesus for daddy and mommy and Audrey, and Grandpa, and Nana and Papa, and tell Grandma in heaven we miss her. Thank you for letting us go to the park and and throw the ball for Ellie dog. Please keep us safe and warm tonight. Amen." And then I tuck Juliet in, and say what we always say--"Now it's time to sleep. All your favorite friends are waiting for you". And they are- her three cuddly dogs, a talking dolly, a colorful snake, Raggedy Ann, and Winnie the Pooh, all awaiting Juliet's arrival. I lay her down, gently kiss her and close the door. I watch the video monitor and sigh gratefully as I watch her quietly scoot around her crib to find a comfortable place to rest her head.
And then I turn my attention to Audrey. Her late afternoon nap didn't really happen because I was too busy with dinner and bathing Juliet and such and sometimes that's just what happens when you are the younger sister, I'm sad to say. I was wearing her in a wrap all night long because she won't nap elsewhere but even so, she was sleep deprived from being moved this way and that. And so she had an early bedtime, at 7:30 pm instead of 9, which this mama can really get behind. I've become a big fan of the early bedtime for little ones. So she gets changed and swaddled and we coo to each other a little bit on her changing table. She gives the best toothless smiles I've ever seen. And she nurses and the milk that is pooling around her mouth dribbles down her chin and she gives a milk drunk grin and my heart fills with peace and joy. I sit there rocking her for another hour just because I can, because she is my baby and this house is finally quiet, and these moments only last for so long and then my babies will be big and asking for the car keys and staying out too late while I wait by the door for them to safely return.
And now, it's time for mama to rest.