My bed is never my own.
99 percent of the time, my husband is in it with me and it is good. After all, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife...and they shall share one bed. Unless, of course, they're characters on television shows before the 1970's. Which we are not.
When my husband is out of town, my children delight in the fact that they get to share my bed with me because daddy won't be occupying his spot. I've never asked but I don't think this is the case when I'm gone. Garrett doesn't even ask anymore. When he found out his father would be gone he hissed through a gap where his tooth used to be, "Yessss! I get to sleep with mommy!"
He says the word sleep and it is so misleading. Garrett roams the bed at night as though it's undiscovered frontier. At one point, he tossed his entire body up into the air and landed atop mine without waking for even a moment. He throws all the covers off in one demonstrative, subconscious act just to snuggle into me and pull furiously at my pajamas for warmth.
I am going to tell any girlfriend he ever has that if she finds herself falling in love with him, if she considers marriage, if she finds herself writing her first name and our last name, she needs to think long and hard about whether or not she is willing to sacrifice sleep for the rest of her life. Still, while I lie awake waiting for the next swooping leg to crash into my shin, I watch him and think about how he will never know the joy he brings me. I consider the way his mouth curves down when his face is completely relaxed and it looks exactly the way it did the very first time I ever laid eyes on him. I smooth his soft blondish hair and wonder if I will survive losing him to life. Then he flips his body, whacks me in the gut, opens his eyes and glares at me as though I did something to disturb his otherwise perfect slumber. My bed looks like a category five hurricane hit it last night.
Tonight I get his brother, because, as I said, my bed is never my own. Garrett will go to his room and travel the four corners of his own bed while he sleeps. Matthew will spend his night trying to steal my slumber. Although, last night, he did it from across the hall anyway. At three in the morning, during a moment when I'd actually managed to fall asleep with the restless wanderer, I awoke to strange whispers. First, I thought Garrett was talking in his sleep (Dear Future Daughter-in-Law, He totally does that too!) but I realized the sound was coming from Matthew's room.
I'd made the mistake of letting him take a glow in the dark sword my parents sent for Halloween to bed with him. In the blackened hours of early morning, he was sitting up in his bed performing battle maneuvers with the air. "What are you doing?" I asked through a croaky voice.
"Oh, hi mommy. I am pwaying sword fight. But my sword wost its handow. Can you find the handow for me?" Well, I found that handow at 3:00 am, reattached it, sent that little bugger to the bathroom, put the sword on the dresser and told him to GO BACK TO SLEEP. Rolling my eyes, I tucked him in and kissed his head.
"Goodnight. I love you."
" I wuhv you," he replied in his sweet preschool voice and promptly exhaled an enormous yawn.
When I dreamed of babies, I didn't necessarily think beyond the toddler years. I knew they'd take my sleep when they were newborns but I failed to realize that I'd lose sleep when they grew up because of the joy they get from snuggling me when their daddy is gone. I didn't foresee night time sword fights. I didn't think about how many nights I'd stay awake wondering if I was doing it all wrong and contemplating how quickly the time will come when they won't want to cuddle into me anymore.