May 20, 2010

Bedtime ritual

This morning I was a little out of sorts.

We got an early start to the day, and by 7:30 I was stripping beds and changing sheets. When I got Gavin's bed put back together, I collapsed on it in a slightly dramatic way. I really just wanted to pull the covers over my head.

I thought I was alone in the room, but Gavin surprised me. "Do you want me to cuddle with you, Mommy?"

I smiled, rolled over, and opened my arms. Gavin climbed up onto the bed and let me hug him, but he quickly hopped off again and disappeared. He came back with Russell and Charlie, his favorite stuffed animals. "Here," he said. "You can have Russell and I'll have Charlie." We used them as pillows, and he spooned with me for a minute.

Then Gavin popped up again. "We need a blanket!" He dashed to Tyler's bed, where I had folded his beloved hand-made quilt. I helped him arrange it over both of our bodies.

"Actually, Mom, I want Russell and you can have Charlie."

So we switched stuffed animals. He was content. He started singing to me.

"I am a child of God..."

I melted.

After singing me his favorite song, we sang Old McDonald together. I sang most of the words, and he chose the "aminals." I laughed when he picked an elephant.

Pretty soon, Tyler came downstairs and said it was time for family prayer before Garry and the boys left for school. Gavin jumped out of bed and ran up the stairs.

I stayed behind to fix up the bed -- and to savor the brief encounter I had just enjoyed. For a few precious moments, Gavin had taken care of his mama. He had acted on his instincts to love and
comfort and nurture. I've never been so proud of my boy...or loved him so much.
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