The scene: The day after daylight savings time. Clocks are set back. Bedtime the night before was way too late. But it’s a school day, a Monday no less, and it’s time for my second grader to get up.
Before I turn on Zoey’s light and shake the living crap out of her to get her moving, I take a second to look at how cozy she looks. She’s all snuggled up in her covers, gripping her three stuffed friends like they are her lifeline. Her hair is all over the place, covering her sweet, sleeping face.
It’s already later than normal. I should have woken her up earlier, but hey, if she’s tired, she needs the sleep. I walk over to her bed, my intention to wake her up and get her butt in gear. I stop and inhale her sweet smell, the one that hasn’t changed since she was a baby. It’s an indescribable scent, sort of a mix of dreams, fairy dust, and sweaty bed head. I start to feel the pull of her little twin bed, beckoning me to join her under the warm blankets.
I know I shouldn’t. I’m already running late and there’s still so much to do before we head out the door, breakfasts to be eaten, lunches to be made, hair to be dried. But I realize that I’ll never get to experience this moment, this very moment, ever again. So I climb in bed next to her and brush the hair out of her face so I can see how beautiful this child of mine is. I rub her back and gently tell her that it’s time to wake up. I try to sing-song it. She rolls over and ignores me. I feel my own eyelids getting heavy with the pull of sleep. It’s so dark and warm in here. Just five more minutes…
Five minutes turns into ten. I awake with a “holy shit” on the tip of my tongue. No more gentle back rubs and whispered “time to get up”s: It’s an all-out fire drill! “Come on! Come on! We gotta get going!” By the time our feet hit the floor, I realize that it is too late. We are never going to be ready in time to make the bus. Oh well, we might as well slow down a little bit. It’s good to know when you’ve been beaten. And morning, you win this time.
The rest of the morning went smoothly, albeit slowly. Lunches were made, shoes were tied. There wasn’t even yelling or tears, which was a bonus. We made it to school only 2 minutes late. Messed up morning or a gift? I think it was a small price to pay for a glorious snuggle and a loving memory. Being able to stop time and steal a few moments of loving on my little one who isn’t so little anymore? That’s priceless.