Early (too early) last Saturday morning, I was wide awake in bed. Pregnancy insomnia had stricken again. I had just popped a few more Tums in my mouth and settled back down into a horizontal position once I could assure that I wouldn't jolt right back up to combat a new bout of reflux.
As I settled in, my gaze rested on the three sleeping forms in my bed with me.
Snuggled right up next to me, as close as he could get, my little man. Somewhere around 2:30 he had awoken and started tiny sobs in his new, beloved, big boy bed. I went in to check on him, rubbed his back and sang him his favorite song, "Twinkle, Twinkle".
He settled down, but pretty quickly looked up at me with a little frown and sad eyes and said, "Mommy's bed, please?"
And as those still-just-chubby-enough-at-the-elbow arms reached up to me, I just said, "Ok, Buddy."
To Mommy's bed we went.
Soon after, I heard the unmistakeable pad of little feet heading my way. By the time I looked over my shoulder and opened my eyes, there was a little face with sleep tousled blonde curls peeking at me.
"Can I come snuggle in Mommy's bed?" my baby girl asked with the unmistakeable signs of heavy sleep in her throat and eyes.
"Sure, baby, why don't you climb over on Daddy's side?"
And, up into Mommy's bed she went.
So, a short while later, as I laid there unable to sleep, I looked around at my bed.
There was my little spider monkey sleeper snuggled right in next to me who had drifted off in record time. He's been like that since he was born. So long as he is up against my chest, he is the sleepiest kid in the world. And there he stays. Move away and he clings right back to you. Or to me. Because really, it's only to me. Face to my chest, and shins to my legs.
Growing like a weed, that one, I thought to myself. Those shins used to curl against my belly.
Beyond him, the splayed out sleeping beauty of my little ladybug. Arms stretched out above her head, blonde curls falling all over the face that holds those impossibly long and dark lashes and that tiny ski jump nose. That face, so full of expression each and every moment of the day at the very intense and constantly emotional age of three, looking just like she did as a newborn once she is asleep. Calm and serene. Thoughtful even, with her eyebrows slightly raised.
I see now, why mothers can always find the faces of their babies in their children, regardless of age.
And the third figure? That would be the snoring dog - belly up, tongue splayed out of his mouth at the feet of the kids. Our first baby, I sometimes joke. Our poor, displaced, first child.
Daddy was on duty, and nowhere to be found in Mommy's bed.
All too often, now it seems, my bed partners are the little folks that make my heart go pitter pat and have made it grow in more ways than I thought possible, but not the one that first made it explode with the fireworks of love.
Such is this chapter in our life, and in our love.
I don't know where along the way the kids had started referring to our bed as only "Mommy's Bed." But they had, and it had stuck. I like to think that it is because they still reach for me in the night, more so than because of their Daddy's frequent absence.
That it would have been called Mommy's Bed even without the consistent duties and deployments. For, as much as Daddy is their very favorite playmate during the day, when they want comfort from bad dreams or restlessness in the dead of the night - it is me they want to "nuggle" against.
And then, there was someone else there, too. Making their little presence known with great insistence. A new little life - who I will incomprehensibly love as much as these other tiny humans, but I don't yet even know - pummeling me from the inside.
My fierce ladybug. My sweet little man. This bouncing ball inside.
"Who will you be like, little one?" I thought to myself as I rested a hand on those kicks and flips going on inside me, cherishing a moment of quiet between me and this new baby. There were so many of these peaceful moments when I was pregnant with Evelyn, but they are much harder to come by with this new one.
Yet, I laid there - peaceful, content, and sleepless - in this moment.
And as the sun began to shine light through the window, I knew it meant that the other half of my heart would come back to us soon. He might even be on his way now, disembarking from that giant ship and walking toward home, a little faster than he normally might, both of us wondering what adventures the day would bring.
But first, I knew he would quietly unlock the door, put down his things and quickly stride up those stairs to climb in with us. We would hold hands and think the same thought about how once, not too long ago, he would come home to just me - usually with hot coffee in hand - and the snuggling would have been a little different.
Today though, we would meet each others eyes above sleeping heads and silently agree to cherish the quiet of the morning, in Mommy's bed.
Evelyn Rae is three and a half, Liam is uncomfortably close to two, and I am 33 weeks pregnant with G3.
…and these are the days, the seemingly endless ones that will in fact end all too soon. Sometimes I just need a reminder.