We are on vacation at my in-laws’ cabin in Birch Bay, Washington right now (again). When you have a limited travel budget, as I do, and you hate camping, as I do, a free vacation option that’s just over an hour from home is a major perk. We make it a point to take advantage of it as often as we can.
As I write, I’m looking down the hill towards the ocean, where the tide is in. Dusk has arrived, and the last rays of light are dying, leaving behind a purplish-gray haze. It is quiet today, since it’s a week night and the weather isn’t even all that good. In the room down the hall my children are tucked safely into the queen bed that used to be mine until my husband and I upgraded to a king.
Side note – switching from a queen to a king does not actually mean you have more space when co-sleeping with a toddler. Toddlers will take up all available space, leaving you with approximately six square inches to sleep on, regardless of the size of the sleeping surface. They’re crafty that way.
Earlier today at the Whatcom Museum’s Family Interactive Gallery
To get back to the point, as I said my children are safely tucked in together. They’re supposed to be sleeping, but they’re not. I hear them whispering and giggling, keeping the party going well past their bedtime. This is why they have separate bedrooms at home. I know some people who say that their kids sleep better when they’re in the same room, or the same bed. My children aren’t like that, so much. They’re more the keep-each-other-awake types.
As I listen to them, knowing that their father has told them to pipe down a couple of times already, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I know that they will wake up at the same time tomorrow morning regardless of when they finally succumb to sleep tonight. The only question is whether the will wake up cranky from lack of sleep, or well-rested and cheerful. Given those choices, I choose the second option. On the other hand, I love that they’re enjoying each other, laughing and talking and joking and conspiring against the grown-ups.
More and more often, I see my kids circling the wagons in their arguments with me. I think they’ve cottoned on to the fact that I like it when they’re getting along, and they use it to their advantage. Now, instead of saying I want …, they say we want …, or even better, in an unspoken agreement that they’ll speak up for each other, they say, my brother / sister wants …
In the face of this teamwork, I am left speechless and befuddled. No parent enjoys a constant barrage of requests for more, more, more. At the same time, every parent enjoys it when their children cooperate and work together. When they speak up for each other. When they create a strong sibling bond.
For now, as night falls around me and I make the best of the sketchy wifi here at the cabin, I’m just happy to sit and listen to it from the other room. While I listen, I think that this is something that I’ll remember years from now. The way that they would lie together in that queen bed in the second bedroom at the cabin, talking and giggling and keeping each other up. Working together to milk every last bit of fun they could from this hour, this day, these last weeks of summer vacation. Building a bond and creating memories.
It really is sweet. I just hope I still think so tomorrow morning.