When I am old, I will miss the night-time creeping that precedes a whispered request to sleep with me. I will miss peeking at the door through a half-closed eye to watch how carefully one of my children turns the knob, how gently the door is closed. This quietness will always mystify me, for when the sun is in the heavens, my children are only able to slam doors.
When I’m old, I will miss the elbows and knees and pointy joints softened by a covering of baby fat that dig their way into my ribs. I will miss the comfort of their presence beside me when daddy is away – which is often. I will miss how it brings me peace in a home that is still unfamiliar. I will miss having to pause for my evening’s final task – turning on the hall light – so that the path to my room isn’t dark or frightening.
When I am old, I will miss the screaming that takes place between two children above my head at three o’clock in the morning, because each wants me to themselves.
Who am I kidding? I won’t miss that at all.
When I am old I will be the one begging for “a hug and a kiss,” and not Jesse. I will be the one asking if she would lay down beside me, not Grace. I will be the one still seeking out a reticent Noah, wrapping my arms around him in the gorilla embrace that is one of the few he tolerates. And in that way, my world will remain a bit the same.
When I am old, I will miss the baby breath humming through lips parted in sleep. I will miss the fuzz of a Disney blanket carried to bed against my face. I will miss kissing the tops of their heads as they settle in, grinning like monkeys because they’ve had their way.
But for tonight, I’d just really like to get some sleep.