Unexpected Friday Delight

I delight in receiving smoko-time text messages from my husband. Even this morning’s which went something like this:

“My morning’s not going well. I’d like for today to be over now.”

I sighed and looked around me at the unsettled baby in my arms who would normally be asleep now, the breakfast muffin being squashed into the carpet and the pyjama shirt that I’m still wearing after intending to get dressed and run errands an hour ago… “Me too.”

“We can cuddle in the couch tonight and just ‘be'”.

What an enticing thought. With so much left to do in the lead up to Christmas and 2021, the idea of just being, being still, being together, and being present was so very appealing. It just didn’t happen that way.

I had forgotten about that alluring promise until the very last minutes of our day. After putting Reuben to sleep, Jonah spent the evening rocking baby Esther to sleep, I was hand stitching Christmas gifts, the Netflix show we’re watching was on in the background, and we were both adjacent to the couch; he in the rocking chair, and I on the floor. Not exactly the snuggling on the couch just ‘being’ that we had intended.

Once Esther was in bed, we treated ourselves to an end-of-the-day drink. Shortly thereafter Reuben woke up, and Jonah went into his room. Not quite so end-of-day after all.

I busied myself preparing the pancake batter for Saturday night pancakes, locking the chickens up, turning off a sneaky sprinkler and finally, brushing my teeth and putting my pyjamas back on. I assume, as I walk out to the yard, that Jonah has fallen asleep in Reuben’s bed.

Before heading to bed myself, I confirm my suspicions, deliver an adult-sized blanket to Reuben’s bed and sit in the reality that not only is everyone in my home asleep, everyone has gone to sleep being cuddled and surrounded by love. Despite the hard days, our bigger baby still knows we are his safe space, and our smaller baby is learning this one cuddle at a time.

Some days don’t meet our expectations, and some overcome them in unexpected ways. It gives me a great sense of pride that my son can call out to us in the middle of the night to be cuddled and know with certainty that we will respond. My heart feels like it will burst draping a quilt over my husband, asleep cuddling our son; exhausted from a long and difficult day and so at peace to comfort and support our children with his patient embrace. I’ll miss it when I’m finally dropping off to sleep tonight but I know it’s serving an important duty down the hall.

Tomorrow we rise, after an unknown number of night wakings and cuddles, for Saturday morning pancakes, and whatever unexpected twists and turns the day has to bring us.

Nicola Critchley Photography

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