Most of the time, nighttime is my favorite part of the day.
There's something about knowing I've made it through. I've made it through split lips (THREE times today, seriously,) and an art project gone awry. I've read books and played outside. I've made breakfast and cleaned the dishes, made lunch and cleaned the dishes, made dinner and cleaned the dishes. I've danced to The Fresh Beat Band, singing along with my children like real live groupies. I've squeezed in a workout. I've gone to Target to ONLY BUY AUDREY'S BIRTHDAY GIFT, and left with the gift, a book for Evie, curl spray, hairspray, bobby pins, gum for Ethan, and mints. Woo hoo, I've taken a shower! I've laughed, given time outs, comforted hurt feelings. I've cleaned bedrooms and given baths.
I can sink into the night, relax.
But I really love nighttime because it's the best snuggle time with my children. First, Ethan says goodnight out the window. His little voice says "Night night, firetrucks. Night night firetruck men. Night night Carter. Night night 'Brina. Night night wind." Then we lay together in his bed, while Ethan squirms, pulls the covers on and off. He gets his lovey just so, places his owl in the perfect place, points out the stars shining on his ceiling. The kid can't sit still. He fights sleep until the end. I ask Ethan what the best part of his day was. He gives one word answers - cake, Carter, digging, Gaga. I rub his back, stroke his sweet face, tell him I love him. And he says, "No you!" He loves me.
I always leave him with regret. It's so sweet in there. But I kiss him, listen for his "Night night, Mommy," shut the door.
And then there's Evie. We sprinkle Sweet Dreams Dust on her pillow, to ward off any bad dreams that may be lurking around. We say a prayer and wind up her lamb. We always, always listen to the lamb twice. The first time through, we talk. She tells me about playing Hunger Games Tag with the neighbor kids. If someone pokes you with their finger, you have to lay on the ground. She thinks I would be good at that game. She talks about what she will wear to school, what she will wear when she gets home from school, what she wants to wear to Audrey's party. She tells me how excited she is to go to Myrtle Beach. She is going to build a sand castle with Gaga. I ask Evie what the best part of her day was. She answers "This." My heart swells. And then the first lamb ends. We aren't allowed to talk during the second lamb. She turns her back to me, I spoon into her, my arm over her waist. We listen to the lamb play Jesus Loves Me and I feel Evie give in to sleep. When the lamb ends, I stay and soak up the warm, beautiful peace.
Because someday, someone will ask me about the best part of my life. And I'll answer "This."