Today was sort of a strange day. We were all feeling a little under the weather, so we spent most of the day just laying around. While Sienna was at school this morning, the Ogre pointed out to me that Charlotte had fallen asleep on the couch. She looked so small and alone laying there, leaning her head against the arm of the big couch that I found myself scooping her up and snuggling down into the couch cushions with her curled up against my side. She slept through the transition and I lay on the couch, with the cool breeze from the open window sweeping across us and watched the dust motes float through the sunbeams. I fell asleep quickly and awoke empty-armed to the Ogre telling me that I had slept for an hour. Charlotte was happily playing in the background, refreshed by her impromptu nap. I, however, felt like a truck had hit me, so a few hours later while the girls ate lunch I grabbed the sleepy, cranky baby and repeated my performance from the morning. The breeze was a little warmer, the sun a little brighter and the companion significantly less sweaty, but it was still a pleasant little catnap, punctuated by sweet peanut buttery kisses from adoring sisters.
After lunch the Ogre laid down for a nap, hoping to get rid of a headache brought on by sleeplessness last night, and while Liam slumbered away in his swing I tried to put the girls down for a nap. Although Sienna was asleep in seconds Charlotte refused, probably due to her morning nap, so I took her to our bed and nestled her in between the Ogre and I and sang her a few whispered lullabies. She rolled over after a few minutes and pressed her little cheek against the Ogre’s arm, wrapping one chubby little arm around his big forearm, and fell asleep.
I carefully got up and went into the living room. I looked at the assortment of socks and shoes and blankets littered across the carpet, interspersed with the occasional sippy cup, toy and string cheese remnant. I thought of the dryer and the clean clothes within, the dishwasher waiting to be unloaded, Liam in his swing, Charlotte snuggled up with the Ogre, and Sienna sleeping alone in her big bed. Then I turned around, walked down the hallway and quietly crept into bed next to my firstborn. She rolled over, looked at me with wide eyes, smiled, wrapped her arms around my neck and fell back asleep in an instant. I lay there, dozing occasionally, praying occasionally, and generally just letting my thoughts wander for an hour until Liam woke up.
It’s not often that I ignore housework in favor of doing nothing. Usually if the house is messy there’s a good reason for it; perhaps the day had been particularly cooking-heavy, or perhaps I had been running errands or on a playdate. I really can’t remember the last time I chose just laying with my children over housework (um, when I wasn’t pregnant). It was nice, and different, to spend time with each of them individually, time that wasn’t allotted to reading, working on letters, going for a walk, or doing anything at all. Of course I’ve often held my sleeping children in my arms but I don’t think I’ve ever before spent a day doing nothing but that. No one was truly sick, no one was injured or sad…we all just needed to snuggle. And it was wonderful.