Cherishing the Cacophony (and Mess) of Bedtime Rituals
Once it is all cleaned up I look around. The shower curtain is closed, the Barbies are out of site. The hand towel is back on the letter A hook, and the counters are once again gleaming. I look up at the medicine cabinet, the top shelf is reserved for thermometers and medicine bottles. Already we’ve moved away from the panicky era of checking temperatures and of endless runny noses. The lower two shelves are for Sean and me. They are relatively tidy and I admit that I like the order that is sectioned off there, but it’s the cacophony of bedtime and the seeping into every aspect of life mess of this age that I adore. I love finding costume jewelry in my make up bag and dinosaurs in the shower. I treasure the ability to go from shouts to murmurs and from singing to whispering.
Once bedtime is done and I am padding past their dimly lit rooms, toys hurriedly stowed in bins and stuffed animals they meant to sleep with tumbled down beneath their beds, I listen to the sounds coming from each girl’s room.
I walk to my own room and find myself hoping that it isn’t done. I hope for one more thing, one more slip of something that defines this time in my life as being their mom. Sometimes I slip into to sneak another kiss or to whisper, “Remember forever and ever that I love you. You are amazing.” Eventually though, I must go to bed and simply let things be. There are nights when it is sweet to feel that I am done, but on those nights when they do a whispering of their own in my ear I feel certain that for each of us a part of this time will live forever.