It is early. Still dark out.
I hear footsteps coming around to my side of the bed — I can tell it is Jackson from the swish of his pull-up that he still wears at night.
“Mama is it morning time?” he asks.
He is climbing into bed next to me, draping his little body across me in a warm, smooshy hug. Then he says, “I’m going to kiss you now too” and gives me two wet smooches on the cheek.
He stays there for a few minutes, snuggled up with me, and then I hear more footsteps. I can tell it is Lily, because the steps are lightfooted–she likes to tiptoe in undetected.
She crawls, catlike, into the middle of the bed between my husband and I. She sighs contentedly. “I’m right in the middle where I want to be,” she says.
All four of us, plus the dog are snuggled up, still sleepy. Still sleeping, partly.
Until the spell is broken, when inevitably, one of my children always asks, knowing that my husband and I will probably say yes because we are half asleep and too tired to say now: “Can we watch cartoons now?”