There are many nights Kostyn wanders over to my bed and tries to climb in next to me and “snuggle.” This I generally let him do, for a few minutes or a few hours depending on whether I fall right back to sleep or not. Whenever I wake up I usually carry him or lead him back to his own room and tuck him in, and he goes without complaint.
Last night I woke up and he was asleep next to me. I had no recollection of him climbing in bed, but there he was. Before I had a chance to nudge him and bring him back to his room, I got a tickle in my throat and coughed. And coughed again. And cleared my throat. And suddenly he was awake, pulling the blanket down and swinging his little feet onto the floor. I thought he was going to shuffle back to his own bed, in search of some peace and quiet.
Instead he walked over and grabbed my water bottle and brought it back to me. “Here Mommy drink some water,” he said, and suddenly I was the 3-year-old and he was the parent.
The tickle was already gone but I propped myself up on my elbow and dutifully slurped down a few gulps. He took the bottle and set it down and climbed back in next to me. As he straightened the blanket over him he said, sweetly and matter-of-factly, “I will always love you.”
And then he fell back to sleep and I lay there amazed, blessed and thankful that for all the chaos and harsh moments we find ourselves in around here, little ones somehow soak in and display the best kind of behavior we model.