When the question is, “Can I sleep in here for a little while?” my answer is always yes.
During my pregnancy, I felt her kicks and pushes against me. I watched my skin stretch as she reached out, growing, moving, hiccuping. Now when she gets the hiccups, she asks me to scare her. I text her emoji ghosts. She laughs.
As an infant, she stretched out in the bed. The dog slept at the end of her little co-sleeper mat to keep her from rolling out. Not that she rolled much, but just in case.
As a child, now approaching six, she sits in the bed with scissors and tape. She’s making a paper airplane instead of coloring. These days, co-sleeping is more like an occasional visit. These visits calm her when she’s scared, distract her from growing pains, help her feel safe when she’s lonely, or keep her close when she isn’t feeling well.
She has always loved her own space, but sometimes, she just needs to be a bit closer. When the question is, “Can I sleep in here for a little while?” my answer is always yes. Her big kid body is all elbows as she settles in. Her stretched out limbs again push hard at my ribs in the night. Now, just as then, I welcome these much less frequent moments of so close. I push the hair out of her eyes, move her marker stained hands back to the middle of the bed, and go back to sleep.
In the morning, I show her my stretch marks and tell her about how my body stretched to hold her as she grew bigger. Her eyes widen as she imagines the possibility, as she touches a bit of her story written on my skin. I don’t carry her as much these days as I have, but I carry her story right there in these marks and sometimes in this bed as she stops by for a visit in the night.
She was all elbows then, she’s all elbows now. All growing. All stretching out. My answer is always yes.