One of my very favorite times of day is early in the morning, sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 AM. That’s around the time that Tegan usually wakes up and makes her way into our bed, to sleep for a few more hours snuggled between us. Like her three brothers before her, she slept exclusively in our bed as a baby and toddler, and it’s only been recently that she’s started choosing to start the night in her own bed. As I think most any cosleeping parent would tell you, it’s a bittersweet milestone to be sure.
But we still have our mornings.
I always wake up as soon as she’s out of her bed… partly because of mother’s intuition, but mostly because she’s so dang loud. How a tiny 40 pound girl can make herself sound like a herd of elephants just coming down a hallway is beyond me, but she does. Every time. Once into our room, she almost flies onto our bed as if possessing super powers, and nestles herself in between her father and I. If we’re sleeping too close together, she simply burrows her way in. Not an eighth of a second after she lands, she’s asleep once again.
As our fourth and final child (our “caboose” as one of my friends likes to say), her fading babyhood is all the more poignant. At four, she is so busy, so active, so big… but in those early morning hours, she’s still my baby. And as I lay there in the dark, waiting for sleep to come again and loving her so fiercely it almost hurts, I drink it all in: the soft, rhythmic sound of her breathing; the faint scent of coconut in her tousled curls; the warmth of the little hand she’s wrapped around my back.
In those moments, nothing else matters but me and my baby.
I am home.