Last night (and let's be honest, most nights) bedtime was like Glennon Melton described it: "Whack-a-Mole"-style. The three-year-old was especially difficult. She came out a few times asking me for "just one last hug." I'd already given her two hugs, plus two songs, plus one story, rocked her, and lain by her in bed, rubbing her back. Honestly. We need to cut down our bedtime routine.
I ignored her cries and protests, trying to reassure my hard heart that I had already given her enough that day. I firmly sent her back to bed without one last hug.
This morning, I sat by her sleeping form, rubbing her back into wakefulness. The dim light from the rising sun highlighted her halo of blonde hair, and her arms stretched sweetly over her head.
On school mornings I pick up her still sleeping, half-waking little body and cuddle her in those precious, still moments before the nagging routines of the day begin. The residual blanket warmth of her fills my heart for a few minutes.
This morning, still half asleep, her fleecy arms wrapped around my torso and she squeezed. "That's my last hug, Mommy," she said, her eyes still closed and her voice sweet with tiredness as she snuggled into my arms.
I squeezed her back, "What? Your last hug? You mean you're not going to hug me anymore?" I teased gently.
"No, I mean the hug from last night."
"Oh." I said, remembering my stern voice and her sobs. "Well, I'm glad you saved it for me."
Darn these kids.