Thursday, February 20, 2014

An Oldie but a Goodie :: When They Try to Need You Less

Originally posted 2/22/12


I've realised recently that I am clinging a bit to the bedtime that unfolds in Griffin's bed. We snuggle up beneath the covers and he twists a lock of my hair between his fingers. Sleepy words escape my lips as I make up stories to lull his mind into a peaceful slumber. Sometimes, I  stroke his cheeks with one finger just as my Mammaw would do to me as a child when we cuddled in her Lazy-Boy Recliner.

Those sweet moments are coming to a close, I can feel it. I know that my big seven year old should be able to fall asleep on his own but we both enjoy the ritual so much. I am well aware  that is my job to usher him into independence, no matter how wonderful the present is.

He has requested to try to do bedtime on his own. With piles of books stacked beside him, he reads silently in his bed beneath the light of the lamp that sits on his bedside table. Not quite brave enough to do it completely alone, I sit on my bed , where he can still see me while I read a book as well. The French doors that separate our rooms are closed tight but the curtains are drawn open, so we can check on each other from over our books. Security is barely a room away. He looks so big to me, sprawled out on his bed with his gangly legs spread out over the covers.

He pretends to read until he makes a mad dash to me, throwing open the French Doors to ask me to pronounce a long word that had caused him stumble in the story. He scoots off back to his bed, pulling the doors closed again but looking at me over his shoulder. A few minutes pass and he is back in my bed to tell me about a moment in his day that he forget to tell me earlier. This goes on for about 15 minutes until he eventually asks me to lay in bed with him and tell him a story. He can't quite do it alone just yet but he wants to be independent so desperately.  Soon enough, he'll be there soon enough.

As we glide to his bed, hand in hand, I treasure that I am still invited to take part in his bedtime ritual. We snuggle up and I tell him grand stories about pirates or mystical dragons. The words float above our heads and I want to grab them and hold onto them forever. Pretty soon, he will stop asking me to tell them.

I am taking in every single detail. His grubby fingers twist and turn locks of my hair, his sleepy breath slows as his strong chest moves up and down, and he drifts off to sleep. The fleeting moments are so peaceful and beautiful...I wish that we could just linger in that place together forever. I know that I have to boldly let it go, though.

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