The Goodnight 

Mom takes a breath.

Tiny three year old toes twinkle down the stairs. One right after the other.

Stomp. 

Two feet land together at the bottom, equipped with a smile only this boy could endure.

Bacon legs – run, run, run as arms flail behind. Jumping down one step, turning a corner. Everything halts. 

The twinkle toes ever so slightly step on a piece of beige carpet. One hand propped up on the arm of a couch.

Boy says to Grandma: “Where’s, Papa?”

Grandma reaches for the boy as she sits up from the gray couch. 

Smiling she says: “Give me a hug!”

Boy lowers his shoulders. Glances up at Mom. His arms reach for her. 

Mom sighs – raises her eyebrows.

Mom says to boy: “Give her a hug, B…”

Boy responds in a whisper: “Where’s papa?”

Grandma groans: “He’s in the bedroom.”

The twinkle toes take off. They only stop when they’ve reached their destination.

Papa.

A huge smile breaks out underneath the kind blue eyes only this boy could possess. 

“Papa.” Boy says.

Papa sits up from the warmth and comfort from his bed.

Papa: “Come here my buddy.”

Those tiny three year old toes twinkle their way up, up, up – until they’ve landed safely onto the bed. 

Boy lays on top of Papa, his once perfectly blonde hair nestled under Papa’s chin. Boy inverts his arms so that his hands are safely tucked in between himself and his Papa. Boy closes his eyes momentarily and a slow toothless smile appears. 

He’s happy.

Mom: “Alright, c’mon. It’s getting late.”

Boy swiftly swings his legs over the side of the bed.

Stomp.

Boy quickly turns to Papa.

Boy: “Goodnight, Papa.”

Papa peers out from over his reading glasses that are sat ever so slightly on the edge of his nose.

Papa: “Goodnight, boy. Want to have ‘Papa’s Breakfast’ tomorrow? 

Boy smiles from ear to ear before his twinkle toes run off. 

An audible “Ahhhhhh” slowly fades away…

Mom chases after Boy.

Up, up, up the stairs they climb. 

Three year old feet heavily and quickly hit the hardwood ground. 

They stop. 

The boy crouches down in front of a thrown together hand painted grey bookshelf. 

Boy: “How many books can I read tonight?”

Mom slowly closes the sliding mirror closet door. Careful not to roll over miscellaneous toys that have snuck out of their cubby. 

Mom: “2.”

The Boy sighs.

Boy: “Alright.”

Boy brings his two chosen books into his red race car bed. 

Mom crawls up the bed methodically. 

Mom makes a spot for her and Boy on the bed.

Boy climbs into Mom’s lap.

Mom: “Which one do you want to read first?”

Boy points to his selection.

Mom reads with joyous expression on her face. Making emphasis on each character and their traits.

Boy laughs with every turn of the page.

He loves Mom.

They finally make their way back from the fantasy world the books brought them to.

Mom kisses Boy on his left cheek.

She loves his baby cheeks. 

She quickly jumps out of bed to turn the lights off. 

And hurriedly climbs back to join Boy under the covers. 

They lay down together.

Mom: “You have 3 minutes.”

Boy looks up at Mom with his sweet and kind eyes.

Boy: “For 3 minutes, I want to snuggle with you.”

Mom lifts her right arm up over his head. He nestles his little head into the nook of her. 

Boy: “Can we sing a song?”

Mom: “What song do you want to sing?”

Boy: “The one you sang to me when I was a baby.”

Mom snuggles up closer to Boy.

Mom: “Okay…. ”

She sings.

Mom: “Goodnight to you, goodnight to you, goodnight to you, I’ll see you real soon.”

Mom repeats. She kisses Boy on the tip of his nose. 

Boy seemingly drifts off to sleep. 

Mom quietly makes her way out of the red race car bed. She spreads the blankets all the way up to his chin. Just the way Boy likes it. She kisses him on his right cheek.

She tip toes over to the door. Opens it.

Boy: “Can you not do all of those things I say every day?”

Mom steps to the outside of his room. Holding the door handle with her left hand.

Mom: “You got it.”

Boy: “Goodnight, I love you.”

Mom: “Goodnight, I love you.”

Mom gently shuts the door behind her.

She made it another day.

Mom exhales.

Writers note:

In the time I started some writing this post a few things have changed. The most important being the title and the line that is written below.  

Original Title: Don’t Let the Monitor Move

Boy: “Mom, don’t let the monitor move. And I don’t want to hear any clicks or crickets. Can you turn your phone off? Can you turn my fan to number 1? Oh and shut my window. ”

Braden used to be very specific on what he said every night before shutting the door. I knew I should write it down before he stopped and before I forgot. Of course he did stop in the months of writing this piece.

It’s bittersweet. Time is such a thief.

I love you, Braden

– Your mama xo 

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The Goodnight 

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