“Mama, I’m tired.” You have been sick for a few days and telling me you’re ready for bed before 6 pm. I drop my plan to clean the kitchen and head to help you brush your teeth. Your sister fell asleep in my arms 15 minutes ago and is already in bed, wrapped up in a blanket in just a diaper because I wasn’t expecting her to go down that early—she is much better than yesterday but still not quite herself.

You push the button on your light-up toothbrush, take your turn and then hand it to me to go back over your beautiful tiny teeth.

”Will you snuggle me, Mama? I’m really tired.”

”Yes, baby. Let’s just stay in your clothes and lie down.”

You curl up against me with your birthday bear curled up against you, and your breathing deepens within just a couple of minutes. Your curls cover half of my face, and I hesitate before moving them and resituating myself. How many more nights will you need me like this? Not enough, I know.