You cried when I placed you in your crib, scrambling to stand and rattle the sides. You couldn’t form words yet, but I heard the message loud and clear. “Don’t go!”
“Mom, leave the hall light on and make sure you don’t go to sleep before I do.” Reading until my eyelids drooped, I checked on you before clicking off my bedside lamp.
“Come get me, Mom.” The telephone calls I’d get at midnight from various sleepovers. At first I complied, but as you got older I’d text back, “Stick it out.” You did, but you weren’t happy.
“Good night, Mom.” You come into my bedroom now for that nighttime smooch, promising me that you will only stay up for one more hour. I can’t make those late nights anymore. And by late, I mean 10:00 p.m.
“See ya’, Mom!” Last night I had to remind you to come back for a kiss after your friend’s mom helped carry your bag to the car. The duffle intended for an overnight weighed enough to be packed for a week. For days you’ve been looking forward to spending the night at her house, not nervous in the least.
This morning I awake. There are no text messages on my phone. No missed calls to come get you. I’m relieved. I miss you. I’m proud of the young woman you have become.
Stay good, ok? As these sleepovers continue and you get older, keep a smart head on your shoulders. Don’t fall into silly teenage temptations like sneaking out, breaking curfews, and exploring parents’ liquor cabinets. Am I asking for too much? I pray not. But if you have a moment of weakness, I will be there in the middle of the night to help you.
I thank God for your heart; your giving, compassionate, sweet, servant’s heart. Trusting Him to watch you while away from me, I will sleep well.