A new day dawns (at dawn)
Footsteps coming up the hall.
I roll over to face the doorway to my bedroom and Loaf appears there.
She wobbles over to the bed and climbs up next to me.
I wrap my arms around her, pulling her closer to the center of the bed.
We lie there – silent. My thoughts fade and I drift toward sleep again.
What seems like mere minutes later, she is on her knees, bouncing up and down near the pillow.
“Loaf,” I hiss. “It is still very early and I would like to sleep. If you want to, you can go down to your sister's room (she’s been up for at least 30 minutes) and play with her. But if you want to stay here, you have to lie down and be quiet.”
“OK, Mommy,” she says, flattening against the mattress and becoming still again.
Again, I drift.
Minutes later – or so it seems - she is jerking her head from side to side and neighing like a horse.
I repeat – more succinctly this time – my diatribe.
“Sorry, Mommy,” she says, rolling toward me. “I be quiet now.”
I am beyond irritated. I’ve been up late all weekend long and Just. Want. To. Sleep. I open my mouth to order her down the hall when she does it: She rolls over and plants a loud kiss on my cheek.
“Mommy, I love you sooooo much.”
My anger instantly melts away. I keep my eyes closed, but a huge smile crosses my face. I reach for her and pull her to me.
“I love you too,” I murmur.
We lounge like that, wrapped around each other, for a short while more. This time, when she starts flopping around, I open my eyes and ask if she’d like to get up and have breakfast. She throws her arms around my neck and happily declares, “Oh yes! I so hungry.”
It is 6:17 a.m. and I am up for the day. Exhausted, but happy. Sleep deprived, but so full of love I am practically floating.