These two beauties,
with pale blue eyes,
and freckle kissed cheeks,
have a sweet and tender bond.
Everyone in our family has a special relationship with little Nano. But that between she and Ellie is unique. Ellie is Nano's other mama. When I can't come, Ellie is always there to wipe a nose or bummy, to feed her and play with her. To be there for her.
But one thing they both love is bedtime. They share a full sized bed in our crowded kid room. After jammies and teeth are tended to, I snuggle little Nanobot (if I don't, she is sure to march back out of the room and laugh, "Mama! You fohgot 'nuggle me! Sihwey!")
(that means silly, Silly!).
And when we are done, she gives me a kiss with the tiniest, little wet pucker, beeps her nosie on mine; "Beep!", and says,
"Nah-night, Mama. I wuv you!"
Then she trundles off down the hall to find Ellie. She snuggles in close and is read to, then drifts of to sleep beside her big sissy.
I know some folks would disapprove.
I used to state statistics, quote studies, and describe other cultures that embrace co-sleeping, listing at length the benefits both to the child and their community. Not anymore. I don't care what anyone thinks.
I know what I know.
I know that I love snuggling.
I sleep better when my sweetie is there to comfort me after a nightmare.
I feel safe on the long nights when I can't fall asleep, just listening to his humming breath sounds. And if I, as a grown up (or one who pretends to be), benefit from a closeness to my loved one when the moon comes up, how much more so might a small person who only has made a few short trips around the sun so far?
At worst, I figure, Nano will have learned to rely on having someone she loves and trusts near by. Yeah, that's probably terrible. It'll ruin her for sure!
Yup. It might turn her into a trusting, loving human being.
It may even teach her to nurture and tend to little people later on in her life.
Seriously bad parenting move, here.
A cynic would declare that we don't all have someone later in life. That training her up like this might make her dependent in a weak, can't-take-care-of-herself sort of way.
Ellie slept with me till she was about three, as did the others.
Turns out that it did not damage her and make her crazy dependent on me. And she's not alone in that. Every one of our children had the same beginning, and I promise you not one of them crawls into bed with us now. They're pretty independent kiddos.
I sincerely hope that each of the kids will maintain the sweet and tender relationship they have with Natalie as she grows into a more opinionated, certainly more rambunctious kiddo, but I think that her bond with Ellie will be the strongest.
And as I watch Ellie grow from child to woman, I am impressed to see how easily she slips into the role of caretaker. It is nothing to her to take Nano potty, to dress and feed her, or to comfort her when she's sad, without even being asked. She (usually) doesn't even complain about the added responsibility. And it is teaching her so much about life and the world around her in a way that most young ladies simply wouldn't have the opportunity to experience. I'm proud of her as I witness her growth. Sure, she rolls her eyes once in a while, but more often she is just learning to be a good person as she bridges the gap between girlhood and the great beyond.
And all the while, there are little people watching and learning from her example.
It's just lovely.