“Will you snuggle?”
Next to “I love you,” that little question is the thing I like most to hear from my five-year-old son. He usually asks it after stories are read and it’s time for bed, when he’s all tucked in and knows I’m about to leave him to sleep. At first, it was a way of putting off sleep, if only for a few minutes, but it has since become part of our bedtime routine.
And I love it.
Snuggling, once my son is all tucked in and the lights are out, involves me getting down on my knees next to his bed, and putting my head on his pillow next to his. He lies on his side and holds my head. There’s laughing and giggling involved, and after a while it gets quiet. We whisper “I love you,” and I get up to go, at which point he asks me to send Mamma in for a snuggle. And it starts all over again.
Eventually my son will grow up, and as long as we treat one another with dignity, there’s a good chance that he’ll tell me he loves me for as long as we’re both alive. But these precious moments when he’s young - I know it won’t last forever.
So when I’ve had a hard day, or I’m tired, or I have things yet to do before I can go to bed myself, when I hear him ask “Will you snuggle?” I have to remember that someday he won’t ask anymore.
So I get down on my knees and snuggle.