Thursday, January 10, 2013

she was alright. and so was i.

tonight was one of those nights.  the kind where 8:00 rolls around and you've asked kids to please go brush their teeth and get in bed 3 different times and you walk into a room to find one of them jumping on the couch and one of them watching disney channel while another is trying to get the little mermaid going in the dvd player.  the fourth would notice all of this if he wasn't busy begging to watch another duck dynasty episode.
UK came over for dinner and was patiently sitting in my grandad's chair...waiting for the chaos to come to a halt.  an adult conversation is hard to come by in this house.
chalk it up to potty training...the busy schedule back in effect...or chad being out of town.  again.  or the fact that i'm wearing a menstrual pad the size of texas...(okay...sorry dad.  you really didn't need to hear about that.)  but i was done.  my patience was gone.
after i got them brushed and combed and had effectively lost control when i saw the state of chase's room...i took some deep breaths and told myself that if i didn't simmer down and tuck them in and tell them how much i loved a patient way...not in a i'm-in-a-hurry-to-get-outa-here way...i'd regret it.
so...i walked into aiden's room.  she had a tear in her left eye.  and her voice was shaky.  i sat down on her bed and asked her what was wrong?
she sniffled and showed me her hershey bear's left arm.
"she has a hole in her shoulder."
i took her into my hands and examined her injury.
i said, "would you like for me to stitch her up?"
she nodded yes.
and then said, "but i can't sleep without her."
i smiled and reasoned, "why don't you sleep with him tonight and then i can take him into surgery tomorrow."
she smiled and said, "ok."
we then talked about how we got her hershey from cracker barrel when aiden was 2.  it was close to valentine's day and she smelled like chocolate.  so we named her hershey.  she has loved her ever spite of the fact that i still call her "him."
"she's a girl, mom!!!!"
then she told me that she was scared to sleep in her room because she always heard car doors closing outside her window.  i thought for a second...and then looked into her soft, gray eyes, pausing at the freckles that are splashed across her sweet nose.
"what if when you hear a car door day dream a happy story about them?  like....maybe....the car door is for our teenage neighbor girl. is a boy coming to pick her up for a date."
she giggled.
"he's so nervous.  and his mom and dad have taught him how to open the door for her.  so...he's finally pulled up to her house and he is super jittery walking to her door right now.  and then imagine him knocking on her door and her dad answering it and her shyly walking to greet him.  and then the next car door you hear is probably him closing her door for her after he's talked to her parents for a while and escorted her to his car.  and then you can imagine where they are going on their date!  a movie?  out to dinner?  a school dance or a game?"
she nodded ok and she turned to put her sleepy arm across hershey to snuggle in for the night...and for her happy daydreams ahead.
i turned moon river on and let the music play as i kissed her forehead goodnight.
i read the poem that i framed for each of them for christmas this year and hung by their beds.  she completed each phrase for me.

and she was alright.  and so was i.  because i knew i hadn't let my own impatience steal those moments from her and i.  it's a lesson i hope to remember next time.  because next time always shows up.
when i went back to check on her later tonight...i noticed how tattered and worn her little bear is...where he had been tucked under her sleeping body...every night...for so many years.  and it finally occured to me why i have a weakness for dolls and stuffed animals.  chad often rolls his eyes and practically states, "like we need another stuffed animal" if i happen to come home with another orphan, soft animal that was practically begging me from it's store shelf to bring it home with me.  but i'm telling you the truth...
you never know when one will become "the" one...
the one they just can't sleep without.
i still have mine.

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