I wasn’t going to post today. I had no posts planned in my head, or written and edited. Yet here I am at nearly 1 am typing on my blog.
I did not plan to write about the unspeakable tragedy that happened in Connecticut last week. I just have no words to express because the sorrow is too great. And I did not want to be yet another voice condemning aspects of society or placing blame because, really, there are no answers.
But something happened last night that inspired me put my fingers to keys.
Every night when I put Sophie to bed, we read a book together. It’s our nightly ritual. I do the same — read from an actual book every night before I go to bed. Sophie knows that I do this as there were times she woke up in the middle of the night and come to find me still in bed reading (yeah, it’s that late/early sometimes). And on the (thankfully) rare occasions when she cannot sleep (likely due to a mid-day nap), she has come crawling into my bed with books in tow to read while I am reading at the same time.
It’s been quite a long time since this has happened. But tonight, as I was putting Sophie to bed and she selected the book we’d read together, she pointed out a stack of four books underneath her pillow.
“Why are the books there?” I asked.
“I put them there because I decided I’d get up later and come read with you,” Sophie said.
“Read with me?” I asked.
“Yeah, you know, when you read before you go to bed. I want to come into your bed and read with you. Like we used to do when I was little,” Sophie replied. “Now what time will you be reading?”
I assured her that it will likely be very late and she’ll be asleep. Sophie told me to wake her up and she’ll come in for reading. I told her we’ll see what happens when I get ready for bed. But in any case, we placed her stack of books by her night light so she can easily pick them up and take them into my bed for reading time if it comes up.
It was 12:15 am when I made my way to my bed and picked up my book. Before I could open to the page I left off on, I thought about Sophie asleep in her bed, in the room next to mine. I thought about our conversation earlier this evening, and how all she wanted was to join me in my evening reading ritual.
So I put my book down and went into Sophie’s room to take a peak at my sleeping baby. I wasn’t really going to wake her. Although I was tempted to do so.
Opening the door did startle Sophie awake. She bolted up, looked at me, and said, “Did I miss reading time? I’ll come see you later.”
She laid her head back onto the pillow, cuddled her tattered little yellow blankie square to her face, and started to shut her eyes. “No, Sophie, you didn’t miss anything. Just sleep and we’ll read tomorrow.”
Sophie turned her head away, I knelt down to kiss her cheek, and uttered, “I love you, my sweet girl.”
“I love you too,” Sophie whispered back.
This moment brought me to tears. My little daughter, whom all she wanted was to simply spend time reading with me. My Sophie, who is 5-years-old, the exact same age as those little kids senselessly killed last week. I feel blessed, grateful and sobered by such a simple interaction as we had last night.
Life has a way of making us feel so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, yet so completely significant to someone else at the exact same time. One might say that’s the definition of parenting. I’m blessed my Sophie is only worried about waking up in time to read with me. And I’m grateful for the moments like this one. Because it’s these little moments that are so precious and meaningful in this grand scheme we can life.