Counting The Sleeps

It happens every time.

In the same vein as checking the clock on a minute by minute basis, waiting for witching hour to be over and bedtime to begin. Finally it happens, the wrangling complete, bodies in pajamas, books read, songs sung, they’re all asleep. What do you do to celebrate? Stand and watch them, marveling in their softness, how sweet they look in slumber.

It’s just like that.

I’ve been thinking about the annual girls weekend since about February. There’s a couple of people in Melbourne that I am hankering to see. Email threads this week begin with ALL CAPS AND OMG I AM SO EXCITED – CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL – WOOT – LET THE FUN BEGIN. Food has been discussed, which sort of wine, pick ups from the airport confirmed, and dinner reservations made.

And as I sit with the suitcase open listening to the little travellers telling Granny and Gramps their stories, the familiar feeling returns. I should buy the third little traveller another long sleeved shirt I don’t think I’ve packed enough. What if the fourth traveller wakes in the night and gets upset that I’m not in my bed. The guilt of heading to another state when your partner is in another country. It’s too much, both of us away is too much.

“Mummy will be gone for five sleeps” I say to them as kisses good night are given.

“I’ll be counting each one” says the fourth little traveller with a smile.

Last night I went back. When the house was dark, the creak in the floorboards my companion. I watched little soft faces with cupid lips. Hands tucked under cheeks, legs splayed and dinosaur pajamas resting on pillow pets.

We will count the sleeps together.

It happens every time.

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