You are The Worst at falling asleep these days. No matter how full your day or how thorough our bedtime routine, you two see bedtime as a challenge—who can be the loudest, who can throw the most stuffed animals out of bed, who can get out of bed and bother me the most.
I do want you to get your full night’s rest, especially on school nights. But, I try not to get too caught up in your nighttime shenanigans. I recall fondly sharing a room or a wall with my little brother, your Unkinan. And we did the same things from our respective bunks or rooms.
Side note: I don’t know why I thought my parents wouldn’t hear me singing to my brother through a wall!? Or maybe I didn’t care if they did, being five and having little impulse control or self-awareness and all.
As long as it doesn’t get too Ka-Razy up in there, I find your whispers and chitter chatter comforting and sweet.The other night you two were taking longer to fall asleep than it does for me to choose toothpaste (and that takes a long time—if you ask me there are an inordinate amount of toothpaste options out there.)
And you were in rare form. First Danjo calling out for me. Then requests for different lighting—the hall light, the bathroom light, the night light—requests more complicated than Broadway stage directions. I almost called in a lighting crew. Then more crying for me. Then Bel getting out of bed to let me know that I hurt Danjo’s feelings because I told her to go to sleep. Then Bel crying because we told her to go to sleep.
But, finally, the sounds of sleepiness began to take over and in the sweetest of sweetest voices, we overheard Bel, comforting her little sister, “Danielly, you know, even though Mommy’s not right here, she is always near. She is in your heart. And God is in your heart too. And I am always by your side, no matter what. Even if I’m mad or you’re mad, even if you’re frustrated or angry or afraid, I love you no matter what. And I am always by your side, okay? You know that, Danielly?”
And I about melted into a puddle.
Because those are words I’ve shared with you. And I like to believe that you’re not just parroting them, but that those words are written on your heart.
That now and forever you will know and believe these things with every fiber of your being.
That even when I’m frustrated you won’t go to bed. Even when I yell at you to stop throwing stuffed animals and to get back into bed. Even when I’m all the way in my room or all the way across the Pacific Ocean. Even when I’m not right here, I’m always near.
And I love you no matter what,