So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I hear his feet pitter-pattering down the stairs. It is some hour in the early morning. A time when all are asleep and the house is dark and quiet. Well, almost all. He is awake, and now consequently—so am I.

I hear him placing his cup of water on my nightstand. He scurries to the end of my bed. I open my eyes just enough to see him clumsily hoisting himself up over the edge. I can feel his little hands and knees moving slowly as he crawls toward the pillows, careful as to not wake us up. It is so dark, he cannot see the small slits revealing the whites of my eyes.

“Hi, Buddy.”

“Hi, Mom.”

He asks if I will hand him his water cup. I am happy to oblige. Even though he just sat it down a few seconds ago. I guess he likes to get comfy before taking a sip of water. I don’t blame him. My hand fumbles in the dark until it makes contact with the smooth contour of his cup. I hand it over.

He takes a sip and hands it back. It is our nightly dance.

I turn toward him and he snuggles into me, placing his tiny arms and hands around my neck.

“Will you snuggle me?”

“Of course, Buddy.”

I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

We both slowly drift back off into the land of peaceful slumber. Content to be under the down of the comforter. Together.

He is my baby. The youngest of four. And this has become our near-nightly ritual.

Years ago, when my firstborn was this age, I was quick to shoo her back to bed. At that time, I had four children ages six and under. My bed was a sacred place reserved for my husband, me, and whatever infant I may have been nursing at the time.

If a child wandered into our room in the wee hours of the morning for snuggles, she was quickly escorted back to her own bed in her own room.

This was our space. 

Now, I cherish these moments of early morning snuggles. I look forward to waking and seeing my son nestled between my husband and me.

It makes sense why I couldn’t have the kids in my bed then. And why I take in every moment of it now. The feel of his little arms around my neck. The tuft of his tousled hair peering above the comforter. The sound of his slow breathing that comes with deep sleep.

At one time, sleep was a rare and precious commodity. Between infants, toddlers, nursing, sickness and all of the other things that keep parents awake in the night—I needed my sleep. My children needed to learn I needed my sleep. And my husband needed his sleep, too. There just wasn’t space for them in our bed.

Today, sleep is no longer a rare occurrence. In fact, with our two oldest quickly approaching their teenage years, we now find ourselves on weekends wondering if they will ever get out of bed.

It’s funny how time changes things.

And as I watch them grow, I realize the time of young children climbing into our bed for snuggles is quickly approaching an end.

Our oldest two children learned early not to disturb our sleep. Our third child’s trips to our room in the middle of the night are few and far between. I rarely hear the sound of her feet pitter-pattering down the stairs anymore. And I know before long, the sounds of my son’s footsteps will be no more as well.

And this is why my husband and I allow the near-nightly trips to our bedroom in the dark and quiet of the early morning hours.

Like all things with parenting, this will not last forever. This is a short season. And he is my baby. And as I try to pay attention to the words and wisdom of the moms who have gone before me, I realize I will never wake up and regret the amount of time I have spent cuddling my children. I will never wish I had held them less.

I am at a point in my parenting journey where I will take all of the snuggles I can get. I will hold on to them. I will store them in a special place in my heart. I will see them as the precious gifts they are. 

Even if they show up while I am sound asleep in my bed at 3 a.m.

I will take them. 

You may also like:

The Nights Are So Long

To My Last Baby, Please Don’t Grow Up Too Fast

I Love Being Your Mama, My Son

When You No Longer Want Kisses From Mama

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Don’t Ever Lose Your Helping Heart

In: Child, Kids
Young boy carrying two gallons of milk, color photo

When you carried two gallons of milk on our way out the door at Aldi, I smiled. You insisted to take them from my hands. You’re growing out of your shoes and shirts, and my prayer has always been that you’ll reach your full potential as a young boy growing into a young man.  You’ve always had a drive inside you that is seen big on the soccer field, and I pray you’ll always desire to work hard and serve strong wherever you are. RELATED: Let Us Raise Boys Who Have Respect Running Through Their Veins I pray you’ll work...

Keep Reading

9 is Changing Right Before My Eyes

In: Child, Tween
Girl sitting in car holding stuffed animal, color photo

“You are officially tall enough to ride without a booster seat,” our pediatrician tells my daughter after reviewing her measurements. It was her 9-year check-up, and she’d grown three inches in a year, landing at the 96th percentile for her age. She’d likely been tall enough for months, but I insisted we wait for her doctor’s confirmation, comforted by the imminent discussion on sitting safely sans booster. My girl gleefully melts into the car’s fabric and buckles her seatbelt, flashing a smile that showcases an assortment of adult and baby teeth. Reality hits me like an airbag in the face:...

Keep Reading

Goodbye To the Preschool Years

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother smiling with giggling preschool daughter, color photo

For me, personally, I feel as though this is the first gut-wrenching string I’m letting go of with my little girl.  Although when she started preschool I felt nervous and I missed her like mad, I knew I still had two weekdays with her as well as the weekend. It has been perfect—freedom and growth while at preschool—but still time for us.  School is on the horizon. The year of starting school has come quicker than I was prepared for. It has literally flashed before my eyes.  I have spent every day with my girls since they were born. Every...

Keep Reading

Don’t Ever Lose Your Sparkle, My Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Smiling little girl

I wish I could freeze this time, right where we are now. Right in this moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than seeing you grow.  People say time flies, and I didn’t really know how much it did fly until I had you. Until I held you in my arms for the very first time.  Since then, I have watched a little girl grow, right before my eyes. I watched her first steps. I heard her first words. I wiped her first tears. I held her hand the very first time. She grew. She keeps on growing. I see her smile...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Will I Know You Tomorrow?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling boy

When you were a newborn, I knew you as well as it’s possible to know another human being. I was your everything; you were mine. I knew what each cry, each smile, each grasp intended. I anticipated your spit-up, your hunger, your fatigue. You grew into infancy, and we remained nearly as intimate: your laughs, your budding motor skills, and your newfound interest in toys were my complete delight. I was there with my camera to document the first time you sat up and played with toys on your own. I knew every single food you had eaten and its...

Keep Reading

Down Syndrome Does Not Define Her

In: Child, Motherhood
Infant in hospital bed, smiling, color photo

Riley’s story starts April 23, 2019. We had opted to get the 3-month scan and NIPT test with our third pregnancy just for the extra ultrasound. The tech brought in the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he pointed out that there was an increased nuchal translucency measurement and that it was common with different trisomies. He suggested we have the materNit21 test to see which specific trisomy we were at high risk for. We opted for it. I got the call a few days later that the baby was at high risk for trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome....

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime