It's late at night, but I've yet to quiet my brain enough to fall asleep. Little feet have just padded down the hall to join us in our room. We are all there together and I can feel the comforting presence of each of them.
The boy snores lightly from his pallet on the floor. The toddler is pressed warm and solid against one side; the husband's hand lightly rests against my other side. They are all here and it feels perfect. Comfortable. Safe.
The toddler giggles in his sleep. What are you dreaming about, Sweet Boy? Your silly brother? Playing outside? Puppies? ...Me? Later, as I am drifting off to sleep myself, he lets out a cry and I instinctively wrap a comforting arm around him, pull him closer, inhale his sweet scent before sleep overtakes me.
I remember the boy's younger years, back when I looked forward to the day when, at long last, he would sleep in his own room. Now that he does, I often find myself lying awake until I hear the sound of those quiet footsteps padding down the hall, the rustle of the blankets at the end of the bed, the reassuring sound of his deep breathing as he falls back to sleep.
Funny how things so often seem to happen that way, me pushing away with one hand and then reaching to grab it back with the other.
Now, with a third child nestled in my womb, I know it is the toddler's turn to transition to sleeping elsewhere. We've already made the transition once; what happened? I scarcely remember, but I'm not disappointed to once again have his warm little body snuggled against mine each night. But the next few months, just as they were for his big brother when he was that age, will be months of gentle transition in preparation for a new little body in our bed. I feel a twinge of sorrow mixed with anticipation.
But here, right now, is perfection and comfort, all of us deep-breathing together.