This morning I was up at 5:22 to nurse Bronwen. It was a cold morning by Savannah standards (45 degrees), and it was raining. The Gutsy Dad was downstairs fixing his breakfast, and I let myself enjoy a few minutes cocooned in with Bronwen.
Soon Tilly swatted the side of the bed (numerous times) to ask to come up. I patted the bed, and she hopped up and curled into a donut shape on the foot of the Gutsy Dad's side of the bed. Her tail was over her nose. I guess she thought it was cold, too.
The Gutsy Dad came up around 5:30 to say he was leaving, and we laughed because he said Tilly had come downstairs to ask for some petting. After he patted her on the head, she ran right back upstairs. We think she was asking his permission (or, more likely, checking to see if he was on his way out the door) to get up on the bed before she came up and asked me. Funny dog.
For a while it was just me, Bronwen, and Tilly. We all drifted off to sleep, safe on our own little island of drowsy contentedness.
At 6:07 I stirred because I heard some whispers, and the next thing I knew Madelyn was in the bed. Usually, this is a recipe for disaster. Her almost-three-ish-ness, love of bouncing on beds, and inability to resist poking her sleeping baby sister in the face all tend to lead to much disruption and firm admonishments.
But this morning I slid to the middle of the bed, and Madelyn snuggled under the covers, sharing my pillow, letting me put my arm around her and nestling into my chest.
This is so rare.
She agreed to whisper. This is also rare.
"I hear something, Mommy."
"Yes, it's the rain."
"It is raining outside?"
"But I hope Papa will not get wet."
"He's okay. He has his rain jacket on for running."
"Good. I am glad he has that on."
I love Madelyn's concern for others.
We stayed there together only for a few minutes more, but they were good, long minutes. She talked about her sheep costume for the Christmas pageant and asked if she could "cry it on" while watching Angelina Ballerina later today. Then she told me that she was ready to go downstairs for breakfast, but that first she wanted to go downstairs and tickle her Groovy Girl doll and wiggle her own body and dance a little. She slid off the bed and was off, in the dark, to do those things by herself downstairs.
I didn't want those minutes to end. Lying there, baring her thoughts to me in careful whispers, Madelyn seemed so little and so young to me, which is also rare these days. Thanks to Bronwen's arrival she has seemed--suddenly--to be a big girl.
But we have to remember she is little. We have to let her be little. We expect a lot from her, just about as much as we expect from her older sister, which is unfair. Yes, she is trying our patience in so many ways these days, which makes us increase our expectations (and our sternness), but we really need to remember that she is really only nearly three.
Oh, it was wonderful to start the day with her, to share the still, small hours with her before the alarm had even gone off. It made me think of this: "Our lives are made in these small hours."
Time falls away, but these small hours, these little wonders still remain.