“And he wants to stay right here, make it last for a hundred more years.” – Francesca Battistelli
Saying good night to my daughter is a process.
A drawn-out, silly, and delightful process.
It begins with reading time.
Sometimes she picks the book, and sometimes I do. When she picks, it’s usually Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Rikki-Tikki-Tavi or Pookie and Tushka. When I pick, it’s usually SkippyJon Jones or Winnie-the-Pooh or The Velveteen Rabbit. We take turns reading, sometimes paragraph by paragraph and sometimes page by page. The words transporting us to other, wonderful worlds, on a yellow, pink, and purple flower-covered comforter that doubles as a magic carpet. Throughout the whole journey her little body remains tucked under my arm.
The next part of the process is “snuggle” time.
And reading time doesn’t count as snuggle time, in case you didn’t know. Don’t be ridiculous. The reason for this is because we’re not laying down, of course. These are the rules and I don’t question them, I just benefit from them. So I settle into my spot laying down next to her. My arm is around her and typically I’m directed to either run my hands through her hair (“I like it when you do that”) or scratch her back. It’s not long before she re-positions herself to face me, her face pressing into my neck. I used to worry that she wouldn’t be able to breathe like that, but the truth is I’m usually the one whose breath is taken away. It’s usually here that she nods off to sleep, right?
This is when she starts trying to make me laugh.