Rainy Nights

Our neighborhood sits high on a hill at the southeast edge of town. When the wind blows, it whips out of the north and barrels straight up the hill that is our street toward my house.

Upstairs, on the northwest corner of our house, the wind shifts and changes as it breaks against the siding. The sound is ominous, a low whistling moan that pitches up or down with the speed of the wind.

Inside, across the room from that particular corner, lies Tom's bed. And on rainy night such as this one, nights when the wind howls and the rain drums overhead, Tom does not sleep peacefully in his warm, snuggly bed.

"MOMMY! MOOOOMMMM-MEEEEEE!"

My right foot had just hit the wood floor in the downstairs hallway when the cries began.

I sighed, then turned and headed back up the stairs to his room.

"C-c-c-an you just sleep wif me for a wittle bit, Mommy?" He sniffled. "Pwease?"

And while my too busy mind was racing through lists of things that needed my attention - laundry, emails, bills, lunchboxes - my heart melted.

"Of course, baby," I said. "Move over."

He drifted off easily with me near, snoring softly after just five minutes or so. Once I knew he was sleeping, I watched him in the soft darkness.

Still so small. So trusting. So soothed by my presence.

I crept out as quietly as I could knowing that if the wind and rain didn't cease, he would find his way to our bed before morning.

And neither Knute nor I would mind.

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There comes a time when your kids are getting older, when even your baby isn't a baby anymore and hasn't been for a long time. Life gets busy with school and errands and activities and all the little things you simply couldn't manage to fit in when your days revolved around the Holy Trinity of Toddlerhood: meals, naps, and bathtime.

In the hustle of day-to-day life when the clock is racing faster than you can move even with the help of a pot or more of coffee, it's easy to forget the essence of motherhood.

This rainy night, I am reminded.

And I am humbled.