My “me-time” turned into a very late night, a beautiful manicure, and a promise of an even earlier morning, seeing as both of my kids went to bed uncharacteristically on-time. The lights off, I pull my red elastic out of my hair, toss it on the nightstand and flop my head on my pillow when I hear Evelyn let out a squeaky moan from her bedroom. That was the third one in the last ten minutes. And this time, my nails are dry. No more excuses. Aaron checks the video baby monitor and "suggests" I go tuck her in before I get too comfortable. The back corner of his brain that is still awake manages, "Goodnight, dear," as I thump out of bed. I know he’s asleep before my feet hit the floor, but I say goodnight anyway.
I click on the hall light and open Evelyn's door. The light breaking into her room from around my silhouette causes her to stir for the fourth time. She lies diagonally in her full-size bed, the ceiling fan playing both comforter and trickster. Her curly hair weaves around her face and neck like a wool blanket, begging for cool. But her goose-bumpy exposed legs make her restless. Accepting the fact that I might wake her up in my intention to allow her to rest more peacefully, I let the light in. I unwind her feet from the sheet and bring the comforter up to her shoulders. She lets out a deep exhale and rolls so her face turns to mine. Her heavy eyes unstick.
"Do you need to go potty?" I guess.
I pull her minky, pink blanket out of the ball and lay it softly over her covers, under her hands so she can pet it. I lean in to sweep her auburn hair away from her neck, "Goodnight."
Eyes closed, "Goodnight, Mommy."
I kiss her cheek, "I love you."
And with an exhaling breath as she repositions herself on her side, turning away from the door, "I love you too."