When I remember to smile

Usually when I put Alex to bed, I sit in a chair by his bed and knit, or think about knitting, or cleaning or working out, or blogging, or chatting, or anything but the task of helping this boy get to sleep.

Last night I was tired. Alex was squirrelly and my patience was thin. I leaned over to kiss him goodnight and he came up for one . . . two . . . three kisses, and then reached his little arms up to give me a hug. I got the afghan my mom knitted for me when I graduated college, and I climbed in bed by him.

At first we both assumed the same posture – on our tummies, both arms stuck under our pillows, head on pillow. Then the tired squirrellys attacked again and Alex started kicking his feet and doing things that I knew were just to keep him awake (like mother like son). I reached out and started rubbing his back – hard – deep. He stilled. He rested.

He started wiggling again and soon his face was on my pillow, pushing up to mine. I opened my eyes and looked at him. He smiled and patted my face. I smiled back. I great big, I don’t care that you are being cute to keep from going asleep smile. We cuddled our face for long minutes. I told him, “I don’t smile enough at you do I? I’ll try to do better.”

He put his head by mine, he slid his hands under my pillow, under my hands.

He slowly pushed me off the pillow, leaving me to sleep on a stuffed Eeyore.

And after sleeping by him all night long – today? I have smiled at him more. Now I am off to smile at him EVEN more. Even though he is avoiding his nap. (Like mother like son.)