I really enjoy sleeping through the night. I really, really do.
But then a little Linus with his blue blanket arrives in my doorway, wimpering only loud enough to awaken just his Momma Bear. And I simply can't just send him back to bed with a verbal cue.
So I get my sleepy self up and onto two feet, I scoop him up, and I carry him back to his bottom bunk.
I lay him down, almost ready to go back to my slumber before the sheets can cool, and then he says, "Mommy, I wish you would rock me."
Well, surely I can't say no to that request. Since I have always loved rocking him, and now he has the verbal skills to tell me he loves it too.
So I hold him in my arms, with his legs around my waist, and his soft, downy head nestled right beneath my chin.
And just as I start to think about laying him on his pillow, just as I begin to count the hours until morning and weigh the cost of sleepy parenting, I think about the truth that someday his head won't fit quite so perfectly underneath my chin.
And I can't bring myself to let go of him quite yet.
A few minutes later, he crawls out of my lap and onto his pillow, into his snuggly spot, all by himself.
And I go back to my bed, with cool sheets and a ticking clock, and I chase my mind around that tender scene with my little boy.
Maybe I'll get more sleep in the next life stage.
But, somehow, it's okay if I don't.