Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My babies and my charge in our nest

When it is morningtime, the sun isn't up here. An hour before Greg's alarm has sounded, soft classical music that rouses him and sends him out of the warm cradle of our sleigh bed. Each day I stretch my arms widthwise across the bed to fill the space that he has left, it is warm and I pull the duvet high over my ears and return to peaceful slumber.

Then as the icy dawn begins to creep over the horizon, I hear tip-toes on the pine floor, and a little form moves through the darkness. Do I sleep with my face turned to the east because I know this is coming? He leans into my face and kisses my lips softly, then climbs up, and over my sleeping body, and curls himself into the comma of me. I pull the covers over him. He is tired, but he does not sleep. He does not speak. He warms me.

As the light grows around the edges of the blinds I hear the small voice, quiet so as not to wake his sister. "It's almost morning," he says. I have to admit, the morning is looming, our nest must wait another day. We sit, pulling the pillows high behind our backs, and gather books to read. Some mornings I go downstairs to fetch hot chocolate for my weaned one and coffee for myself, even a little snack to nibble on if there are muffins or extra-tasty dry cereal available. We read and snuggle and chat quietly as the sun rises over Turkey Hill, and the river rushes by, and the light changes.

Sometime midway through this time a cry comes from the end of the hallway, a startled awakening followed by quiet, and then chatter. I retrieve my littlest sprout and tuck her in with us, she nurses contentedly while we finish our books and prepare to begin our day.

This lasts sometimes 10 minutes, and sometimes an hour. This is morning, on the best days I have, sometimes 2, sometimes 3 times a week.

It was 6 years ago on Valentine's Day that Greg and I went to a local furniture store and ordered a cherry Sleigh Bed. "An extravagence," I explained to him, "We would never indulge in once we have chidren". Realizing the truth in this, we agreed to buy the bed, and never exchange gifts on Valentine's day. My co-worker smiled to herself, knowing how I had longed for the bed. "Your children will love it. You will fill that bed," she laughed. I did, too.

We waited and waited for the bed. I began to phone the store, concerned. The owner kept me going. "They're behind on their orders," he explained of the small company who was to build the bed. "Their head bed-maker is on vacation." Finally, on my last call, a version of the truth: We're bankrupt. Then a few days later: a call from the lawyers. Not just bankrupt, but they had taken our deposit and never placed the order for the bed. It seemed our bed (as well as our deposit) was not meant to be.

A few months later, the lawyers called again. Some funds had become available to fulfill orders that had been fraudulently taken. Would we like our bed after all?
Yes, please.

And now it is our nest, our hub. Our family gathering place, where books and love and everything else comes together.

This all sounds so peaceful, no?

It is also about 85% likely that Charlotte died in this bed. Died as I lay there, pleased as punch to finally be in labor, so delighted that I would soon be bringing my baby home to this beautiful bed.

Why does there have to be a flip side to everything?
So this is why, in the early dawn, my heart sinks with gratitude as the tiny warm lips awaken me, and I see the boy who never would have been climb into bed with me. His miraculous self fills me to the brim, and when his sister joins us, the love makes me giddy.

My nest calls.


Anonymous said...

There is just something so beautiful and so special about sharing your bed with your babies.

after my son was born i couldn't bare to let him sleep by himself, and now 5 days until my guess date with baby #2 and he's still in our bed *snuggling daddy as i type*

i love to feel his amazingly warm little body next to me at night, and in the mornings when he rustles around and wakes up, he's fallen into the habit of giving kisses and burying his hard little head into my armpit and just quietly laying there. unless i sleep too much longer and he's really starting to want out of bed. Then he gets face to face with me and babbles something i can't comprehend but figure him as saying "mom. mom. mom. hey mom. can we get up now mommy??"

Becky said...

It's beautiful.