Lately, Robbie has been wanting to fall asleep in his own bed, and sometimes, he even wants to lay down alone to fall asleep.
Last night was one of those nights. K had to run to the store, so I was putting Robbie to sleep. He wasn't falling asleep and it was late, and I asked him if he wanted to lay down with me in my bed. "No," he replied. "My bed." And off he walked again to his bed. I came in and gave him a kiss, turned off the bedside lamp, and walked out of the room. And he fell asleep.
Of course, at about 3 a.m. the hall light came on and we heard his footsteps in the hall as he raced to our bed. Mac returned to college yesterday and we weren't surprised to have a late night arrival. I figure we'll be seeing him often for the next week as he adjusts to sleeping alone in his room again, and then we'll be back to the occasional night visit.
It's funny. I've spent years encouraging Robbie to learn to sleep alone, while welcoming him to our room as well. And we're having success, but I'm going to miss having him nearby. There have been many nights where I lay next to a child falling asleep. Listening to the change in the breathing pattern as a child slipped off to dreamland is a sweet memory. Waking to a child cuddled next to me and having morning snuggles has been priceless. I've enjoyed that.
Growing up seems to be a much slower process with Robbie than with our older children. My last child is still my baby in many ways, but even Robbie will grow up someday. When we're falling asleep, I don't have to think about the worries that flit around at the edge of my mind. I don't have to think about the decisions we will have to make someday. Instead, I listen to his breathing and pray for a good night's sleep.