Before I Sleep

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I creep into your room.

I savour the stillness and yet it’s unnerving.

There are bed clothes falling off beds.
There are cold legs above the covers.
There are flushed, sleep drenched faces.
I stand and listen to the soft rhythmic breathing….at times, so quiet that I place my hand on your chest to be reassured.
I wonder what you dream of.
I wonder what sort of adventures your dreams will bring you on.
I think of the stories you told me today.
I remember the song we sang on the way home from school.
I smile when I recall the way you put your hand in mine and whispered that I was ‘your best friend ever’. 
I feel bad about the row we had over the sloppy homework.
I feel the familiar gripping fear when I look at your vulnerable faces…
Will you always be safe.
Will you always be happy.
Am I doing it all wrong?
Have I messed things up and is there time to put it right?
I quash these thoughts and focus on the here and now.
I tuck legs back under duvets, only for then to be out again before I leave.
I put butterfly kisses on your faces and appeal to the gods to keep you safe.
Before I sleep I feel joy, sadness,fear, hope and happiness, but most of all I feel gratitude.
Before I sleep I know tomorrow is a new day, the slate wiped clean, a chance to do it all again and do it better.
Before I sleep…..

4 thoughts on “Before I Sleep”

  1. That's beautiful Elizabeth, there's nothing like those bedtime kisses and "keep safe" whispers. I remember talking to someone once who doesn't go into their kids when they're going to bed themselves – I think it's missing one of the loveliest moments of the day

    1. Thank you, that is such a beautiful moment to miss out on, I don't think I'd be able to sleep if I hadn't checked on them! Even when they were younger and there was an ever present danger of waking them, I still did it…..one of my favourite moments of the day.

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