Since having my first child five years ago, we have moved so many more times than I ever imagined I would with a child. We’ve been back and forth across the country; beside our own bed, we’ve slept in hotel beds, in beds on the floors of spare rooms at my parents’ house, my mother-in-law’s apartment, my sister-in-law’s house. We’ve slept in beds in Belize, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Our family bed has grown from the three of us, nestled like spoons on a queen sized mattress, to all five of us, sprawled out across some combination of mattresses pushed together, blankets for each of us. No matter what the day brings, we meet there at its close.
Today was not our best day. I’m feeling disconnected: from myself, from my kids, from my partner. The negative self-talk is loud, and I’m relying heavily on my favourite escapes: over-eating and screentime. Aedan and I have been butting heads as a result. Just after dinner he yelled some pretty hurtful things at me. And I started to yell back…and stopped myself.
“We’re going to bed,” I said as I calmly began picking up. He hurled some more angry words.
“You and me, bud. We’re going to bed, now.”
And we did, just me and him (and then after some time, Charlotte joined us.) And even though it was only moments after those hurtful words had been exchanged, he snuggled right up to me. He apologized, told me he loved me. I stroked his hair and we found each other again, there in the dark of the bedroom. I sang his favourite songs, he chatted about his day a little, and then he fell asleep.
There is so much healing that takes place in the familiar space of our family bed. As much as I miss sleeping next to my partner, I am grateful for this one small thing, this anchor at the end of our day.
This post was inspired by a prompt on Jena Schwartz’s blog today.