Saying goodnight to my daughter is always, um, an adventure.
Some nights she is sugar and spice, sweetness and light; while fairy dust floats in the air, her pudgy little hands pull me down for more kisses!
Smooch, smooch, kiss, kiss, peck, peck…
“100 kisses, Mommy!”
Rapid fire kisses, machine style.
“That’s 99 kisses, Mama…”
“So one more, huh?”
“Yep. 99 is next to 100. So one more kisses.”
One more kiss to end her day with smiles and love.
Feeling that warm glow? I try and hold onto those gauzy golden memories…
Because the reality is most nights end with so much screaming and so many tears you’d think this child was being beaten instead of being put into a nightgown.
One night, a bad mix of overtired and distraught, my girl was in full-on tantrum mode, screaming, crying, flailing.
Finally, when nothing else was working, I blew in her face. Not sharply, mind you, more like a gentle breeze.
And she stopped crying just long enough to crack a smile.
Suddenly we were back to our very early days. My girl, who never wanted to sleep in her crib alone, and me, who just needed her to sleep so I could sleep too.
“You know,” I told her, “you used to cry when you were a baby. Nothing I did would help. One night I was so tired – I cried too! Then, with noting left to do, I blew softly on your face and you smiled.
Just like this…
And even if you start up again – in that moment your smile gives us both hope.
Your brief smile reminds you that you CAN smile again.
But it reminds me that I can find a way to help you smile.
As long as we know that we can be sure we can get through the tough times…
That is what hope is.”