Friday night was date night: Jared and I…and Grace.  The boys stayed the night with our Aunt and Uncle while we took her to see her cousin perform as a ‘snowball’ in The Nutcracker and then out to dinner with the whole family.

She was completely wiped out on the way home, and in a rare moment of relinquishment, she fell asleep.

As we pulled into the driveway her eyes popped open and she sleepily asked “Can I sleep with you tonight?”

My first thought was ‘Awwww’ and wanted to reply “yes baby”.  But my parenting muscle started to flex and all of the reasons to say no began flooding my brain.

“No honey.”

“Pleeeeeease, everybody else gets to share a room but me and I’m all alone and I get scared” by the end her voice was trembling.  I hadn’t realized that the recent move of Luke from our room to now sharing a room with Jack might have this effect.  But of course, it’s true.  Daddy and I share a room, Grandma and Papa have a room and now Jack and Luke.  She’s not a teenager wanting her privacy, she’s a 4 year old who feels left out.

And suddenly this baby girl of mine, the one who encompasses every cell of my heart, had my voice quivering too. So I folded.

“Ask your Daddy.”

So she slept with us that night.  And as I lay down next to her and watched her curl up into me, for a fleeting moment I let myself go there, to that place I had distanced my emotions from all day, and I thought there are 20 sets of parents who dont get to curl up next to their babies tonight.


I swallowed down my sobs and kissed her forehead.

It was such a simple thing, yet because of that day, it’s a moment I will never forget.

 She would NOT open her eyes.

So I tricked her and asked her if she wanted to see the picture.


Stares right into my soul this one.

***Sending prayers to all of those affected by this tragedy. Anger, fear and defensiveness (all of which I have felt) is just what the enemy wants.  Let’s instead lift them up.