A Snuggle On a Gray, Gloomy Day

The nights are harder this time around. Maybe it’s being older, with more kids; maybe it’s the cold weather, which renders the space beneath the blankets so cozy and the space outside it so unfriendly. Or maybe I’m just getting lazier. In any case, I actually sleep through the first minute or two of “I’m waking up hungry” noises, and often I have to give myself quite a pep talk to drag myself out of bed and nurse.

Fortunately, setting aside writing (mostly) has allowed me the luxury of long naps in the afternoon. Getting under the covers fully dressed has a wickedly indulgent feel that makes it even more pleasurable than in the middle of the night.

I had carpool duty on Tuesday, and when I woke up at 2:35, I knew there wasn’t time to do anything productive. Michael was stirring, but he wasn’t interested in nursing yet. So I put him in the bed beside me and curled up on my side.

Outside, thick clouds hunkered down, lengthening twilight backward along the clock, dropping a mist of precipitation on a world already saturated, soaking bare sycamore and cottonwood and walnut. Gloomy, silent, stealthy rain, buried beneath the perpetual growl of the interstate, pushing inward on the walls of my room.

But inside, warm purple walls radiated warmth and intimate quiet. My baby opened his eyes, kicked his legs and examined the recessed ceiling and ornate fan, then looked at me, looked through me…looked into me. “Hey there, sweetie,” I whispered, and he calmed his frantic limb flailing and wrapped his tiny hand around my finger. “I love you.”

And those eyes whispered back, I love you.

Truly, “it is no small thing that they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” –Charles Dickens