I love mornings.

Not that I’m a morning person, per se, but something happens pretty much every morning that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

When our youngest two wake up (Glory is 8, Joel is 6), they often bumble clumsily to our master bedroom, sludge-faced and slurry, wanting a cuddle. Their hair is mashed, their eyes are puffy, and they need seven minutes soaking up warmth beside mom and dad’s faintly stirring bodies beneath the covers. Shauna is usually still comatose, but they don’t care. She’s really warm, after all.

“How’d y’ sleep?” I manage, whispering through my own dragon-breath.
“Good.” That’s the standard reply. I guess no matter how the night was it somehow becomes “good” once the cuddle is taken care of. Seven minutes later (give or take), they slide back out — places to be, things to do. If it’s Saturday, there are cartoons to watch.

Those seven minutes are beautiful, yummy, precious, irreplaceable. For all of us. I get my gentle cuddle before they take off and don’t stop moving at bedtime twelve hours later. And they have sucked some kind of magical security substance from our befuddled forms by osmosis, like lying next to mom and dad together reinforces the family bond that is their universe and empowers them to face whatever the world hits them with that day.

They’ll outgrow this. A day will come when they won’t need this anymore — at least, not in this form. I pray that our love and guidance empowers them with the faith and self confidence they need to start their own family cuddle factories. Which is too bad, because in a few years I’ll lie in bed wondering where those moments went to. And I’ll probably cry. In the meantime, thanks for this, God.