I thought it was over. The days of Sophie joining me in my bed while her Papa was traveling. Snoring on his pillows. Kicking me in the middle of the night. Rolling over into my ribs.
My Sophie will be nine years old in a few months and the last few times my husband was away, she didn’t ask to sleep in my bed. And I didn’t invite her. I’m not sure why I didn’t ask her. I didn’t really think to ask her, I suppose. And since she didn’t ask, I assumed she wasn’t interested.
But the other day, I gazed over at Sophie’s profile and I missed her to the point of feeling a void in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t miss her physical presence, of course, as she was standing right next to me. But I found myself yearning for my youngest daughter as she used to be: a wee girl with delectable rolls of baby fat, tight Shirley Temple curls, chipmunk cheeks and an aura of silliness about her that was utterly irresistible. So I asked her if she’d like to sleep in my bed, not sure whether to expect abject refusal or enthusiastic assent. Sophie looked at me with big eyes, tilted her head sideways towards me and exclaimed with a grin, “Duh! Of course I want to sleep in your bed!”
Of course, no sleepover would be complete without her most cherished inanimate friends, Shirley the lamb, Bone-Bone the dog and Uni the unicorn. Since Monday night, they have taken up residence between my sheets, along with two increasingly tattered burp cloths and a not-so-little tween whose feet are now a woman’s size 6 (a factoid that honestly makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth), which explains why the kicking hurts so much.
But I don’t even mind the bruises this go-round. You see, I know that each night she sleeps in my bed could be the last. She’ll refuse the bed-sharing offer eventually; it’s just a matter of time. Time that I wish would stand still, even though part of me can’t wait to see the woman Sophie will grow up to be.