This happens frequently.
Gibby doesn't go to sleep as quickly as Caderyn, and will usually sing or yell or throw stuff to keep his big brother awake.
Last night Gibby was both singing and throwing (blankets and pillows) stuff at Caderyn, so I gave him the okay to crawl into my bed.
I went about my nightly chores of getting ready for the next day. I helped my Mom frost and decorate Caderyn's birthday cupcakes we are bringing to school in a few hours. I wrapped some gifts. I worked on some lesson plan stuff.
And then I decided it was my bedtime, so up I went, and discovered a sound asleep and very sweaty Caderyn sawing logs in my bed. He left a side face print on my pillow, that's how sweaty he was. I uncovered him, rubbed his back, and murmured some soft words to try and gently wake him so he could walk himself to bed. His response was a cat-like stretch and a body turn away from me.
So I hauled his lanky frame into my arms and held him for a few minutes.
His face scrunched up in annoyance at the disruption in his sleep cycle, and then quickly relaxed back into slumber.
And there I sat, staring at my six-year-old.
Realizing that the face he'd just made was one he'd given me many times, and one I loved seeing when he was a baby.
This sleeping face assured me that we were doing things right. That he was safe, content, and happy.
And, in that moment, I felt a wave of relief wash over me.
Parenting is tough stuff, yo.
You want the best for your children. You want them to experience the world. You want them to live life to the fullest and become a kind, loving, and gracious person. But with the world that we live in, with so much rage, so much hatred, so much hurting and death, I always feel like parenting is standing on one end of a tightrope hundreds of feet off the ground. You stand on your platform with arms open, calling to your child from across the rope, watching and agonizing as they begin to take their first tottery steps across the thin and wobbly rope.
Children come up against all sorts of obstacles in this world, and I am always mindful of how we are speaking to Caderyn and what he is seeing and learning.
I want him to experience life to the fullest, but I want him to be smart and cautious. I want him to know how important it is to be a kind and good person, someone who will have a positive impact on other people's lives.
And last night, looking at my sleeping child's face, I felt his weight in the world and knew that he was balancing firmly on the tightrope of life, continuing to take small, but assured steps toward my open arms. It was a good feeling.
Caderyn is a fantastic little boy.
He is smart and quirky and funny.
He is kind and loving and generous.
This little boy set the course for a number of major events in our lives.
Things that we never would have considered without having him enter our lives.
He is amazing and wonderful and so incredibly special.
Today and every day, I am thankful he chose us as his parents.
HAPPY SIXTH BIRTHDAY BUDDY.
WE LOVE YOU.