It’s time for sleep, it’s time for sleep, the fishes croon in waters deep.
The songbirds sing in trees above, it’s time for sleep, my love.
Those are the opening lines of the girls’ “last book,” Nancy Tillman’s It’s Time to Sleep, which we recite to the girls after turning out their lights each night. I say recite because after many many readings, we don’t really need the actual book anymore. Instead, we can tuck them in and snuggle a bit while we chant the familiar words that ease them into slumber.
Usually, I lie in Claire’s bed with her, and she wraps her little arms around me and strokes my hair and generally acts like the tiny mama she is. She kisses my forehead, and sometimes, if I’m lucky, she whispers sweet nothings in my ear. The other night, she snuggled in close and said oh so softly, “You are SO CUTE.” I keep thinking about it. I love that kid so much.
She just has a sweet, nurturing spirit that goes hand in hand with her ham personality. She wants to make people smile and laugh, and she wants to take good care of the people she loves.
She’s even started asking about more siblings, for which I blame Daniel Tiger for adding a baby sister. The other morning as I changed her diaper, she said, “So, when you gonna have a baby, Mom?” “Um, Mama can’t have any more babies, you and Etta are my babies.” “But I’d be such a big helper!” And you know, I know she would be. She’ll have to settle for taking care of the people she’s already got.
And as you dream inside your sleep, the fishes crooning in the deep, and all the songbirds up above will sleep and dream of you my love, of you the one I love.
We finish the story, and now it’s my turn to whisper in her ear. I love you sweet girl. Sweet dreams.