When my kids are tired, when I don't feel like fighting, when I know I can fight all I want and after a lot of crying I'm still going to give in, I let my kids go to sleep in my bed.
Some nights I can tell the fight won't be too bad and my daughter Helen, because she's always the one who wants mommy's bed, will settle down in her own bed so I say No. Other nights, nights like tonight, I know I should just throw in the cards. On those nights, after they're well and truly asleep, we transfer the kiddos back to their beds, a process Helen calls "wishing." In other words, she wakes up in the morning and announces, "I wished myself back into my own bed, Mommy!!"
Even though every time we let them sleep in our bed we're tempted to pull out the air mattress in honor of the profound and essential and fleeting cuteness of our kids curled up in our bed, we resist for fear of losing not only the battle but the actual war. And when one of us -- tonight it was me-- takes the kiddos back to bed, one of them invariably turns over onto a belly and pulls up her knees and pushed her tuches up into the air in order to assume what's known in yoga class as "child's pose." Tonight, after watching MSNBC and the depressing ads for Cialis and the uninsured, there was nothing so sweet as that little tuck and prop. It was a hard day for us for a reasonable selection of reasons -- not a bad day, mind you --just a hard day. Anticipating Helen's morning announcement that she herself got herself back into her bed -- well, we should all be so assured of our agency in the world. We should just assume that even when it turns out the odds really are stacked against whatever it is we want to do, we can wish it to be something else and if we wish hard enough, and, you know, work hard enough, maybe the thing that we wished for that seemed impossible won't seem so out of reach.
There's a bad side to this wishing, like with Sarah Palin and how she talked about her relationship with Russia. And then there's the good side, the side that let's you dream a little and work again. That's the side that, with a little snort of Bourbon, I'm wishing myself back to. I mean, as Sarah Palin proves, a girl can't make it on wishing alone.