It’s only 9:45 pm, but we’re already crawling into bed – the “well-adjusted” couple, still in the early throes of parenthood. This isn’t the exception, this is the rule, and by the time Netflix passes the fourth episode of Brooklyn 99, I’ll be curled up in a ball fast asleep with my head on my husband’s chest.
The rest is all a blur –
Awake. The heater. It’s kicking in on a bipolar night in September, when I forgot to turn it down. It was toques and sweater weather a few hours ago, but now the sheets are suffocating in the heat. Turn it off. Asleep.
Awake. Netflix. “Are you still watching?” Nope. The screen, somehow blinding, yet forgotten until now. Turn it off. Asleep.
Awake. Cough. Husband can’t shake a cold since the weather turned. It’s a mix of fighting frustration and sympathy for how he feels. Turn around. Asleep.
Awake. Baby Cries. She’s decided not to sleep through the night tonight, so I fetch the soother and reposition her bunny for her to cuddle. Turn down the sheets. Asleep.
Awake. The dog. Odie has found “something” underneath the house and declares his victory to the world at nighttime. Loudly. Continuously. Then silence. Asleep.
Awake. The dog, again. The “something” is apparently a skunk, and its position just outside the windows becomes quite clear. I can taste the putrid smell despite the lavender oils. Cover my mouth. Asleep.
Awake. Cough. He gets up this time, gets a drink, and takes some medicine. “You okay?” Turn around. But when he comes back, he holds me close, and gently gives me a kiss. Asleep.
Awake. The dog. Again? The skunk must be trying to make his getaway. If only, if only, if only… Why can’t the smell just go away? Asleep.
Awake. Baby cries. Is it morning? I wrack my brain. Dirty diaper? Teething? She’s rolling… practicing her crawl? I shift her little body, and eventually, she whimpers back to sleep. It doesn’t take long, but it feels like forever. He holds me closer so that I don’t have to feel alone until she quiets. Asleep.
Awake. Alarm. Warm the milk and lay waiting in the early dark. She’s beginning to wake again. He gets her, and her eyes are slightly red, rubbing as she adjusts to the dim light.
The day begins.
But soon – there are dimples everywhere, and she’s placing both hands on my face as she leans in. Her mouth open, she gives a slobbery, 7 month-old kiss. We both giggle, and Husband slides in from behind to kiss us both. “I love you,” he whispers.
Soon – the windows are open with fresh air, and Baby Girl and I are taking the dog for a walk down the lane. He jumps with excitement, chasing his tail for attention. It doesn’t take long before his fur (and his smell) cover my clothes.
Soon – I’ll be laughing at the mixed memories of Odie’s adventure and a rather rancid midnight perfume. There’ll be a pumpkin loaf in the oven that makes the house smell like cinnamon, and we’ll leave the heater on every night to keep us warm.
It’s coming quickly –
I haven’t always wanted to remember these moments… but I can feel the seasons changing, and God’s buffing up my heart to help it grow while in the valleys. He’s giving me “ordinary” nights to take in extraordinary things, and I’m catching glimpses of all the browns as they turn to gold; I’m getting baby kisses and whispered “I love you’s” to help me through the night.
Because for all that is scented and slobbery, I will choose to remember them.
Especially on those September nights.