1 – ninja turtles,
2 – fuzzy knitted,
3 – knitted with stripes,
4 – polka dots.
I lay the four blankets out on top of my daughter, ascending from largest to smallest. She asks and I confirm that they’re all visible and then comes the best part of my day. I lay down beside her, we say bedtime prayers, snuggle and listen to music. It’s such a calm time, laying in the dark, listening to her breathe. Sometimes she talks to me in those moments between the day ending and the night beginning. She tells me about her day – about the triumphs, about how she was nice to the mean kid or how one of her BFFs gave her a hug and filled her bucket with happiness. Or she tells me about the difficult times – like when her watermelon leaked all over her lunch and make everything taste weird, or how a boy made fun of a girl’s painting and hurt her feelings. And we talk through each of these challenges and I encourage her to be a confident girl whose heart is filled with kindness and who makes loving choices. Then, as always, I remind her that I love her, that she is the best part of my life and that I’m so glad to be her mum.
That bedtime routine is wonderful, not just for the relational connection with her but also for the physical peace of lying down. Usually by that point in the day my muscles are aching, exhausted. My medication is wearing off yet again and I’m struggling. Struggling to move and maybe to breathe and being forced to lay down and be still for 20 minutes is the best thing I can do for myself. I know if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t rest. But because she needs it I give it, and then I get it which is good because I need it too.
I need her more than anything in my life right now. As things are very chaotic, unsure and difficult she is a constant. Her love for me is unconditional and for that I am so grateful.