Going to Bed

Last night my daughter got into bed with me. Or I should say I got into my bed with my daughter. She started getting into my bed almost as soon as she could get out of hers, years ago. When I was single, it didn’t matter. I thought of it as contact mothering, time we spent together that meant a lot to her, and really to both of us.

Then came the Man of Many Monikers. When he was to become part of our family, we both wondered how the Little Princess would manage actually sleeping in her own bed. To ease the way, we made some rearrangements of the household. We finished the attic, and it became a room for #2 Son. We painted his old room pink. I bought a beautiful bed from Pottery Barn Kids and hung one of those mosquito netting curtains over it, beautiful curtains and a rug beyond my means. Somehow this was all attractive enough to get her to spend a night in the new room and make some space for the Man.

Time went by, and although the Man was working at night, the Little Princess respected his space most nights. Then came the day he left for a job out of town. I put her to bed in her own room, but when I went upstairs later, I found I had a roommate. And there she stayed until the Man returned.

Last night I listened to her breathing, loud and slow, and saw the confusion of the covers and felt the heat of her body and the intrusion of her foot onto my side of the bed. She doesn’t nestle. Neither does he, when he’s home. There’s a snuggle at bedtime, but then he retreats to his side of the bed and expects me to do the same. I listen to the depth of his breathing, because he almost always falls asleep first. I smile at the way he untucks the sheets with his feet, to accommodate his long legs. And if I, who like to feel the weight of many covers, throw them off in the night, it is because he gives off heat.

As much as I say I would like a night to myself, when I was alone here Friday, I slept on the couch, where I could hear the dogs breathing and feel their warmth nearby.