Ethan was carrying on about wanting someone to sleep with him in his bed. As much as I wanted to comfort him and as much as I would've like to snuggle up next to him all night, I also know what a slippery slope co-sleeping can become. I stood my ground, even though it hurt my heart. Instead, I spoke softly to him as I changed his jammies, I wiped his tears away with my fingertips, I cracked a few jokes in failed attempts to make him smile. Finally I led him, tearfully, back to bed.
He climbed under the covers, sniffling and sobbing. I smoothed his blankets for him, tucking his favorite froggy blanket around him. I had Ethan's favorite stuffed animals and sat on his bed and did a little show for him with the animals, pretending that they were telling me secrets. I finally saw a hint of a smile which was encouragement for me to continue with the stuffed animal show. It worked, because full on giggling ensued. My heart soared. It brought me such joy to be the one to turn his tears into laughter, to be the one to end his day on a happy note. It was a special moment for me. There was something about us being the only two people awake in the house, something cozy and sweet that seemed to strengthen our connection. As I left his room, and Ethan was snuggled and content under his covers, he said, "Can we do that stuffed animal thing again tomorrow night, Mommy?". You bet we can.