I put Nora to bed tonight.
Just like I do most nights. Rocking, nursing, rocking. Sometimes when she doesn't quite seem ready to be put in her crib, I lay her against me, her head on my shoulder.
We rocked a few minutes longer tonight. Nestled against me, I was acutely aware of our chests pressed together, a thin layer between my heart and hers. My love for her a living, breathing thing. An energy that increases in strength when we are connected.
I riled her up tonight. Right before bed. I hate it when Adam riles her up right before bed. I hate it when he riles any of them up right before bed. But for some reason tonight it was me. Somehow we started wandering around the house popping out from behind doorways at each other and squealing with laughter after I yelled, Boo! And instead of stopping after a time or two I kept going. And going. And getting the big girls into it too.
A half hour later we started petering out, which is good because it was already an hour after she normally goes to bed. I'm not really sure why I didn't feel the rush to get her to bed like I usually do. She didn't get a nap today, so keeping her up later than normal is a bit of a risk. If she's too overtired (or riled up -- ahem) she has a hard time going to bed.
Sometimes when it's time to settle down and go into her room for our bedtime routine she fights me, whether she's overtired or not. But tonight, even though when I told her it was time for bed she fussed, as soon as we got into the bedroom she snuggled right in, ready to nurse and rock and nurse and cuddle.
I held her against my chest, breathing in our love energy. I treasure these moments, knowing that she will grow out of them, knowing that sometimes during the day it is really hard to feel our connection. She wiggled a little, her sign that it's time for her to lay down, our time done until next time.
I took in one last big breath, our hearts beating together, our energy fizzling, and said good night. And it was. It was such a good night. Whether she sleeps well tonight or not, it was worth it. It was all worth it.
It always is.