“Five more minutes?” I look at my daughter’s raised eyebrows through her outstretched fingers, unevenly spread as she stands at the foot of my bed – her eyes glazed over with dreams on the horizon. I hold a pause, taking a breath behind a pursed smile, and then accept.
She crawls excitedly up the bed in a quick gallop that draws a full grin across my face. She wriggles under the covers and positions herself toward me. I flip from back to side to take her in. Her own smile sets the room in a warm glow as a quiet, high-pitched giggle spills out from the depths of her little body. She nudges herself closer, finding a nook that seems made for her all along and somehow ever-evolving as a perfect fit for snuggles. The wonders of a mother’s body to maneuver and mold never stops.
The parenting books would have likely dismissed her request. The influencers and armchair experts would’ve had a different way of handling my child’s post-bedtime appeal. The mom next door, down the street, across the city, and in every other house in-between, would’ve done it differently.
But it was my house, in my bedroom, at the foot of my bed. It was my kid. It was my moment to capture or let fade. And I said yes.
Sometimes it becomes exhausting saying no and admittedly second nature instead of consideration first. But tonight, I don’t lose sight of how these evenings will continue to change. One day, I will want every single second of five more minutes back. One day, I will relish the ones I get paid in short visits. One day, I will feel the desire for them in my bones instead of wishing them away in my head. One day…and yet, I have today.
So, I say yes. After a day of saying no and making my own requests, I say yes and don’t regret it. I say yes and know that it’s the right answer for me and my growing girl. For my past self who dreamed of these days. For my future self who will want them all back. And for this very moment that is only meant for us.
Five more minutes? Yes, yes – a thousand times, yes.