Monday, November 22, 2010

I hope you good dreams

When she was small, my oldest daughter Rosy had a thing about rituals. For a while I feared OCD. She asked people how old they were over and over again, even after they answered her. She cleared her throat when she was nervous. She had quirks, too many to list.

And I never thought they'd go away. And I certainly never thought I'd miss them.

When she was nine I made her sleep in her room. It wasn't that she slept with us ALL the time or anything. It was a bed hopping situation that had to stop with the new baby in the house. It wasn't an easy transition.

And so, in her own way, she made it better for herself. She created a ritual.

After I tucked her in and kissed her, right before my foot crossed the threshold of her room into the freedom that was the hallway, she'd say "I hope you good dreams Mommy," and then stare at me until I said it back.

I remember noticing that the wording was odd. The creation of a sleepy child. And there were times I just DID NOT WANT to say it back to her. To break her of the habit.

Sometimes I left the room, explaining that we would just try not saying it so that we could prove that the earth would not collapse.

But after she was asleep, or right before, I'd go back and whisper it into her ear anyway-- quirk be damned.

I don't remember when she stopped asking me to say it. Or, more importantly, when she stopped saying it to me. And now? I miss it. It aches me so.

Good night Rosy,

I hope you good dreams.

8 comments:

  1. "It aches me so" Yes. That is exactly how I feel about all the things my children don't do anymore because they are growing up. Like when did my baby (now seven) stop calling fish 'fifs' I miss that. It is silly, but I do. And it aches me so too :)

    Miss you. And I still love your words. Always have. Always will. Let me know when that book is coming out. I want me some junk garden :)

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  2. Someday, the words will come back. Not regularly, but in some way, they will. For our daughter's senior yearbook this year, parents are requested to take out an advertisement honoring their graduating child for the back of the book. I included my equivalent of your "I hope you good dreams" and before turning it in, asked for my daughter's approval. I got an immediate affirmative and a big smile.

    Wishing you good dreams Suzy. Like Tab, I am missing you too and hope to read your book soon.

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  3. The list is long,,of changes to miss..lol. I still "make" them go through some of our old routines. As Liza stated,,these usually produce a "grin"..

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  4. Love when there are habitual "sayings" between family and friends; makes it all seem worthwhile somehow.

    Wonderfully written story Suzy, as usual.

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  5. This was adorable.
    I wonder why it bothered you that she was obsessive about things. Aren't we all? She sounds like she was a delightful child.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I know we don't talk much these days but I wanted you to know that I still read your words, that they draw me in and fill me up and make me think of you and how wonderful you are. I just wanted you to know that.

    This is beautiful, Suzy. Incredibly so.

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  7. This brings me back to my childhood and my quirks. I do feel nostalgic for them. And I'm sure this feeling is deeper when one has children.

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  8. I miss my mother's voice saying, "I love you, with all my heart."

    Because of that one statement, I never knew people could love with less that their whole heart.

    Now it's hard for me to wrap my head around it when people say, I love you. . and treat it as almost a greeting or a goodbye.

    Yes, I miss my mother's voice, saying those words. She made it real.
    Thanks for this post.

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