Friday, January 30, 2009

Growing Up


I am convinced that my sisters and i grew up to be such voracious readers because of one nightly ritual that my mother practiced with each of us. Now i am doing the same thing with the little revolutionary. Each night we fluff up the covers and snuggle down together to read before bed. For the past five years it's been a short stack of kid books -- Dr. Suess and Tomie de Paola, The Berenstein Bears and Richard Scarry... it seems that even with the 26 years that separate my daughter and me, the canon of kid classics remains the same. Now, thanks to a set of Ramona Quimby books donated by my co-worker (thanks, Matt B!), we are on to reading kid-length novellas. For the past week or so we have been catching up on Ramona's antics in kindergarten -- a worthy topic, since the kiddo is headed to "big kid school" herself in just a few short months. When Ramona is done, i look forward to having Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume, and Pippi Longstocking fill up my daughter's thoughts as she drifts off to dreamland.

And with the graduation into big-kid books, i am trying to get her into her big-kid bed. I admit it. This single mama has been curling herself around a warm little body all this time, and frankly, i see nothing wrong with it. Except that everyone around me seems to think it's just not cool. I could say that this queen longs to stretch herself over the whole of her queen-sized bed, flopping my legs in whatever position i want to. Or i could say that i want the damn covers all to myself. But that's just not really the case. Truth is, it's just all of you that lead me to believe she shouldn't be sharing my bed anymore. "She still sleeps in your bed? What?!"

Me, i have the panicked thoughts of a fire breaking out in the middle of the night, and her not being able to open the 1940's window that sits by her bed. I think about the feet that don't seem to get cold at night, when there's a little hotbox next to me. I think about the sweet way we wake up together each morning, her pretending she's not awake, just so i can kiss her eyes open. But somehow, you all are beginning to win.

And maybe there's also the slight hope that someday, i will have a big pair of feet keeping mine warm in the night.

So tonight, for the first time since Christmas Eve, when i told her that Santa would not come unless he could see her sleeping in her own bed, she is laid out under the sweet pink-and-white covers, that thus far have hardly been used. Across the hall, i'll keep my door ajar... half-hoping to hear the slap of five-year-old feet on the wood floor in the middle of the night.

1 comment:

dadshouse said...

How great that you are sharing your love of reading with your daughter. Maybe you can figure a way to have cuddle/reading time, but separate beds. At some point, kids need that sleeping independence. You'll know when.