Tonight, still wet from her bath, my naked baby girl crawled into my bed and said,”Momma-can we talk about it?”
“Talk about what baby girl?” I asked.
Big sigh. “I had a rough day,” I started to laugh but one look at her crestfallen face stopped me.
I crawled in the bed and pulled the covers up to her chin. “Sure we can talk about it. What made your day rough?” She curled in her side-facing me. Her plump little hands tucked under her cheek and she started to talk.
Her brother hurt her feelings when he teased her about going to jail ’cause that’s where bad guys go. Her sissy made her mad. Her tummy hurt a little bit and Alex said he wasn’t her best friend anymore. She hit her chin and it was red. She fell down at the softball game. Her big brown eyes welled with tears.
One by one I either explained things or told her I was sorry. I punctuated each sentence with a kiss to her nose, her forehead or her cheek. In a few minutes I got a big all better smile and she bounced away.
Our night rattled on. I mentioned the rough day to big brother to stop some teasing. He grinned over the top of her head but was appropriately sympathetic to the baby girl who adores him.
At bedtime I was resolute in my decision that she couldn’t sleep with me. I did relent into tucking her in. She was sad and clingy and slightly weepy.
Suddenly bam! the bed bounced and big girl joined us. She snuggled up to her chunka-munka and made some non-sensical conversation that only the little one seemed to understand. It worked. I see a smile. Bam! Big brother joins in. Smile becomes a full fledged grin. Ba-ba-BAM. Dog jumps in with us. Smile begins a giggle. “My whole fam-Ah-lee,” baby girl giggles. “1-2-3-4-5.” She counts is off one-by-one. “My bubba, my sissy, my momma and Quinn. All in my bed!” She puts her little dimpled hand over mouth and laughs and laughs. Big girl starts the strawberry shortcake CD player and toddler tunes fill the room.
“This is what we do when someone in our family has a rough day,” her big brother explains snuggling up and laying his head down in her tummy. She taps his forehead and laughs some more. A quick shimmy and some dance moves to wheels on the bus sends her into full-fledged laughter.
And right here, right now, was a perfect moment. A 15 year old high school fella, a beautiful 12 year old middle schooler and a rambunctious dog all snuggled together to help a 5 year old feel better after her rough day.
And in helping her they helped me. I don’t have clean house. They aren’t great at doing chores. Grades and attitudes could sometimes be better but none of that mattered tonight. I have wonderful babies; Wonderful babies with good, kind hearts who love family and who come together when it matters most.