Saturday, April 9, 2011

Camping Out

My children have slept on the floor for 8 days straight. Eight days. On the floor. They think it's fun. I think it looks terribly uncomfortable. They think it's a "real special treat", while I get a stiff neck just looking at their sleeping bags on the floor.

Now, I'll somewhat begrudgingly admit that as I 'grow wiser' (that's my euphemism for my accumulating turns around the sun. Which in turn is another euphemism for the growing number of birthdays I'm collecting), my definition of "Fun" and "Special Treat" is changing a bit. I am now at the point where a thin pallet tossed on a carpeted floor just does nothing for me, except make me cringe at the prospect of waking with aching knees, elbows, and shoulders.

But I'm okay with that.

The girls seem to love it. Any "Non-School Night" will find them, camped out in various rooms of our house, both of them filled with a sense of glee at the idea of a new place to sleep. New noises. New light patterns thrown on the wall. They seem to enjoy the nightly shake-up.

Have Nightlight, Will Travel.

They've enjoyed a full week of these little camping excursions, since they've been on Spring Break. As a special treat, last night we let them set up camp in our bedroom. They were over the moon excited about it. Tucking them into their bags and reading the last nighttime story took on a whole new dimension for them since they were in Mom and Dad's room. On the floor. At the foot of the bed. Wow.

Remember when it was those simple things that filled your life with unabashed joy?

I have to confess it was nice listening to the soft sounds of their sleep: the gentle puffs of breath, the slight stirs under the covers, the tiny sounds of dreams passing through their closed eyes. It took me back to the days when their bassinets were in our bedroom, or when they'd sleep in our bed after having a bad dream. Good memories, all.

We were awoken this morning by two little faces peeking over the foot board of the bed, only two sets of eyes and two pert noses visible. Two little voices spoke to us from their slightly hidden vantage point. "I love you Mommy. I love you Daddy. I love you." Soft whispers to wake up to. Soft words with big, heart melting meaning in them.

They are growing up. Everyday I can see changes in them that take them further away from the babies they were (and sometimes still are in my mind's eye), and tracking them closer to the ladies they'll become. But there is always this: their hearts. The essence of these two precious little girls stays the same. Big hearts. Open arms. Beautiful words.

They are a daily reminder to me of Love is. And how full life can be when my arms are wrapped around them tight. They may be growing up, but I'm blessed to be here to see it happen.

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