"Pour down your warmth, great sun!" - Whitman

September 3, 2009

This morning, as many mornings, I woke up in E's bed with no memory of how I got there. I went to sleep in my own bed. I have a vague memory of moving him over to climb into his, but what prompted the move -- a cry, or just my own dreaming -- I have no idea.

We've all grown used to this. I'm sure at some point E will request that I don't co-sleep with him but that's long in the future. For now, he's joyfully snuggly when he wakes up and finds me there. I'm often awoken by kisses and hugs, or just a small warm cheek laid against my own cheek as he lays his head on my head. Sometimes, in the early morning hours when he's half-asleep and dreaming he will ask me things, and I will shush him, reassure him, which sends him back to sleep again.

I've realized slowly the reason this always felt right to me. I slept in the bed with my own mother until I was in elementary school. For her it wasn't a parenting choice -- we just lived in a two bedroom house with my grandparents: they had one room and I had the other. She worked nights, so often I would climb into my Grandmother's bed if I was sad or sick or lonely and fall asleep there. When I woke up in the morning I would be in my own bed with my mother beside me. We had a secret code between us, a hummed pattern that stood for the words "I love you" and I can remember resting my head against her back and humming it over and over until she woke up.

Humans are social, pack animals. We band together for safety reasons, and for social ones. For a long time I fought against my nocturnal wanderings, but I've come to accept and embrace them.