I don’t know when it started. Probably sometime during our remodel, when Ryan and I didn’t have a bedroom so we were sleeping in the studio. But every morning, Henry started padding into our room in footie pajama feet when he woke up, wanting to climb into our bed and snuggle.
That was two years ago.
I don’t mind it. Normally things like that would be something I would put a stop to or try to teach away; but not this. Not these sleepy, uneven footsteps of my four year old boy coming down the hall to make sure that we’re tucked in our bed where we belong. Not the footsteps that bring me his sweet rumpled bedhead and bleary eyes and pillow-pressed face. Not the thump-thump-thump of his size 11 feet, coming to tell me “Good morning, mama,” and climb under our warm duvet for just a few minutes of togetherness before the world and his little sister wake up.
I always wonder at how those footsteps are enough to rustle me out of sleep. To anyone else’s ear, they’re probably almost silent. Just two little legs carrying 45 pounds of boy over a wood floor. But to me they are a most familiar song, with a rhythm that I know perfectly, and a beat that nudges me out of slumber just about every day.
This morning when he was coming down the hall I was halfway through a dream and the footsteps to me felt more like heartbeats, in my half-asleep confusion. And I remember thinking, when my head cleared, how very perfect that was. Those footsteps in the morning, they’re the heartbeat of our home. The footsteps, and the games of hide-and-seek, and the skinned knees, and the pages and pages of storybooks, these are our pulse. The little things day after day and now year after year, the tiny idiosyncrasies that have become the way we are raising our children. The heartbeats of our family.
One day he won’t come down the hall in his footie pajamas. One day he’ll be a sleepy teenager, or maybe in his own house with his own family. But tomorrow and for every single day that they continue, I look forward to waking up to those footsteps in the morning. xoxo
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