Three of my four children are sprawled out on my floor, giggling and whispering. Their sleeping bags swish a lullaby.
I wouldn’t normally allow a sleepover in Mom’s room on a school night. But when we first tried this a month ago, the whole thing went so well – the kids read books to each other, played quietly, then slowly fell asleep, one by one – that I couldn’t resist trying it again. Especially since we are in the midst of a busy travel season for my husband. Bedtime is most exhausting time of day when I’m the only responder to every cry for water, every plea for one more bedside prayer, every whimpered request for extra cuddling. It often takes me two hours to get everyone bathed, jammied, brushed and asleep in bed.
But not tonight. Instead, the candles I lit on the fireplace mantle flicker a nostalgic warmth, and the children sleep peacefully at my feet. Is this what the Ingalls used to feel, when their whole family slept in the same room next to the fire, with Pa’s gun safely tucked above the door?
I don’t really know why we Americans put everyone in their own space. I would be fine sleeping like this forever.
Or at least until someone wakes up crying and causes a chain reaction of early morning distress.
Then they can sleep in their own rooms.
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