Good Night, Sweet Pea

Despite my best efforts at strategery, the space and time I cannot adequately divert to a subject other than Husband’s absence is bed time. This is particularly true for Sweet Pea, the Second Grader who resides with me and bears the unfortunate task of carrying on my emotional DNA gene. But it seems that after many tearful nights, Sweet Pea has finally found her own way to cope with this dilemma.

Bedtime was her special time with Daddy. She is the big-time snuggler of the family, and she plays this card to her advantage. I am constantly amazed at the promises that get made during this secret snuggle-whisper time, and I predict that one day she will use this cunning method to secure the rights to an expensive prom dress, followed soonafter by her first car.

There was, before Husband’s departure, a tradition that involved me tucking the kids in, followed by a round of extra prayers and kisses and hugs by Daddy. Sometimes he would arrive in their rooms after the monkeys had fallen asleep, so there was a semi-drunken response by a dream-bound child, but it was always a sweet ending to everyone’s day (including mine, if I had the good fortune to spy from the doorway).

Last week my mom was staying overnight, and she took advantage of the privilege of reading a story and doing tuck-ins. I was working away downstairs so I didn’t come up to kiss them for some time.

The Preschooler was, of course, still awake when I finally came up. That child does not sleep. Since I’m making predictions today, I will go ahead and predict that he will become a late night talk show host, dance club owner, or ER doc. Let’s all hope for talk show host, because he’s one funny little dude, and I’m not sure the nurses (or patients) would fully appreciate his brand of humor.

But Sweet Pea is a sleeper as much as she is a snuggler, and had long since passed into a world filled with unicorns and purple sparkly parties with fairies welcoming her into their world with a princess indoctrination party. I looked at her for a moment, soaking in the sweet curve of her velvety cheek, and noticing how her eyelash rested gently on the edge of the pink flush. She is seven now, but the part of her face where her closed eyelash meets natural blush of her cheek has always looked the same. I listened quietly to the soft whisper of deep sleepful breaths. She will hate me soon, I thought. But for the moment, she still says things like “I hope I can be just like you, Mommy. I love you in the whole wide world,” so I’m treasuring (and secretly recording for playback) every precious moment.

sleepyhead

"Goodnight, Daddy"

I decided I couldn’t stand there staring forever. I eventually leaned over, and I kissed her little growing cheek, and I said, “Goodnight, Sweet Pea.”

She barely woke, but she whispered back: “Goodnight, Daddy. I love you.”

OH, no, honey, this isn’t Daddy, he’s … but I stopped that train mid-thought. And in as low a voice as I could muster through my tears, I did my best Husband impression. I got very close to her ear and I whispered, “Good night, Girly Girl. I love you, too.”

*  *  *

 

And that night, she was put to sleep by her Daddy.

Touche, Sweet Pea. Touche.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary LeBlanc
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 15:53:32

    As I sit here tonight. I am not a military wife or even have a sis or brother in the war. I just saw you on NBC news and saw the web site and thought I would take a peak.
    The stories I have read are heart breaking. I dont even know where to begin to express my feelings because I am not one of you. My prayers and thoughts are always with the guys and gals over in that foreign land. That just seems to be so far off from here in the USA.
    I hope and pray that each and everyone of you have your loved ones come home and be sane from all that termoil and heart break. I just wanted to say even though I have no one there, My thoughts are always with all of you and I do pray each night to get our solders home right away.
    God Bless each and everyone of you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories.
    Mary

    Reply

  2. Lindsey
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 17:43:44

    All right….you said it would make me cry and it did. I admit that my tears were partially due to the thought that my girls are growing up too, and more than likely will someday hate me too. I do not look forward to this day.

    Reply

  3. marika
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 19:19:12

    awe you make a good daddy too!

    Reply

  4. Jana
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 19:09:38

    I am a friend of DogGirl and she suggested to read your blog. My husband travels lots too – not military but currently gone for 3 weeks (left yesterday). We did two years gone while I put 2 kids into Kindergarten. When I would feel down I would think of strong women like you. Such inspiration. Your blog hits home in so many areas. Please pass along that civilians are very proud and thankful for what he is doing, and to you and your kids. Thanks to those of you who are doing without.

    Reply

    • wittylittlesecret
      Oct 20, 2010 @ 11:09:32

      Thanks, Jana. I’m not actually a strong woman, I just play one on TV. But I’m so glad you mentioned this, because Mission #2 (after Mission #1, which is creating a diary for my kids to read someday) is to reach civilians who may not fully understand the sacrifices made on their behalf. Husband is a commercial pilot in his civilian job, so we are used to having him gone one, two, or three weeks at a time. We are fortunate to be relatively independent already. But even I will admit, this is different. Thanks for commenting – opening up this blog has given me lots of warm fuzzies, and your post was one of them.

      Reply

  5. Mk
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 17:34:29

    Wow. Is Husband monitoring?

    Reply

  6. DogBoy
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 17:18:45

    But I’m a Tough Guy!

    Reply

  7. DogBoy
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 10:00:59

    Oh thanks for making me cry! I’m still fragile from yesterday. Love to you all.
    B

    Reply

    • wittylittlesecret
      Oct 19, 2010 @ 10:38:52

      Sorry, friend. I should have tear-jerker warnings on posts like these. Imagine how I felt writing it! Strike that, imagine how I felt when it happened. Anyway, it’s okay to cry, sometimes.

      Reply

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