There is something almost sacred about checking on your sleeping child. It is one of my favorite things to do, especially after a difficult day or even after a date (when a few hours away feels like days).
It's really quite difficult, if not impossible, to capture the sensation with words, but I want to try - so I won't ever forget...
I tiptoe down the hall and turn the door knob ever so gently. The room is awash with the soft glow of the nightlight. Usually the kids are so sound asleep they don't even stir. As I wait for my eyes to adjust, I feel the warmth of the room and listen to the comforting sound of tiny inhales and exhales.
I can't help but smile as I approach the bed. Do all children resemble angels when they sleep? I think they must. Dark, thick lashes resting on still-chubby cheeks. Smooth foreheads devoid of any wrinkles assure me of peaceful dreams. I lean in close and inhale. With Parker, I wonder how he still manages to smell like a little sweaty boy even after a bath...I suppose it's due to the fact that his running doesn't cease until his head hits the pillow. To be honest, I love that smell. It's the smell of pure energy, of life fully lived. With Maddie, I wonder when I will have to give up using baby shampoo and move on to big girl products. I almost hope it's never. When I smell that smell, I can almost convince myself she is still a baby and not the long child lying on the big girl bed in front of me.
I gently brush each child's hair back and kiss the soft skin of their foreheads, cheeks, and noses. When does baby soft skin go away? I don't want to know.
I relish in the fact that I am the one who can do this. I have access to this inner sanctuary. If their eyes happen to flutter open, they simply snuggle closer. This is heaven.
They sleep like rocks. Warm, comfortable, peaceful. I whisper in their ears that I love them, and tiptoe back out again.
Thank you, Father, for the blessing of these children.
The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping
child. ~Joe Houldsworth
There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
P.S. For those of you wondering about Jack, well, he's not such a sound sleeper. I don't dare open his door. Thank you, Lord, for video monitors. :)