This is love.

Coffee was invented for mornings like these.

Coffee was invented for mornings like these.

Ari’s cries woke me out of a deep slumber at 4:51 a.m. I was less than thrilled to be pulled away from my dream. I’ve come to expect Ari to sleep until I wake him on the mornings Isabelle goes to school. However, this morning was different. He needed me. I plodded to his room, picked him up, and attempted to rock him back to sleep.

Nine minutes after I set him back down in his crib, I heard his cries again. This time, I heard someone else’s footsteps in the hallway. I heard a door open, then close. And then I heard more footsteps. Finally, a bleary-eyed six-year-old entered my room and declared, “Ari’s crying woke me up!”

“It woke me up too,” I told Isabelle.

“I was sleeping,” Isabelle stated.

“So was I,” I reminded her.

Together, we walked back into Ari’s room. A moment later, my husband joined us. I changed Ari’s diaper while Marc made Ari’s bottle. We couldn’t persuade Isabelle to go back to sleep for an hour. Instead, she perched herself in Ari’s glider and rocked back and forth.

“I’m only a teensy bit mad at you, Ari, for waking me up,” Isabelle stated.

“I guess I’m more upset with him than you are,” I said while noticing the deep ache on the left side of my head.  I really needed to sleep until 6:15, I thought.

“How mad are you?” Isabelle asked.

I looked down at Ari’s smiling face. How could I be mad at this precious boy? He’s a great nighttime sleeper. (NOTE: He’s a pitiful napper, but I can’t hold that against him because solid nighttime sleep is way more important to me!)

“I’m a little bit mad,” I replied, “because I needed more rest.”

“Well, I’m just a teensy bit mad at him,” Isabelle repeated.

A few minutes later, Isabelle was kissing her brother’s cheeks, head, and hands. All was forgiven for the early wake-up. This is love, I thought.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


About Stacey Shubitz

Literacy Consultant. Author of Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts. Adjunct Professor. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

12 responses to “This is love.”

  1. newtreemom says :

    Yes, this is love…building lifelong bonds that hold you together.

  2. the purple lady 💜 (@th_purpl_lady) says :

    That is love. And the whole thing made me smile. I’ve had a morning, and this just lifted my spirits.

  3. barbara suter says :

    There’s nothing else like it, the bond between a mother and her kids/family. Thanks for sharing a moment of pure grit, seasoned with love. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

  4. Linsey Taylor says :

    What a sweet moment… even if was bad timing!

  5. aileenhower says :

    It really is unconditional love when you forget yourself and needs and love! Hope you catch some rest today.

  6. cvarsalona says :

    Love grows in your house, Stacey. It is going to be wonderful to witness the growing relationship between Isabelle and Ari.

  7. arjeha says :

    A real bonding and show of love. Everyone was there, you, your husband, and your daughter. All there for Ari and each other. A smile goes a long way in dispelling displeasure. Great slice for Valentine’s Day.

  8. Leigh Anne says :

    Your kids remind me so much of my own. My daughter loved her brother…and still does at 24! Beautiful love story just in time for Valentines Day – maybe he wanted to celebrate early!

  9. Clare and Tammy says :

    He is so cute –I don’t care when he wakes up!! I have been loving his pictures on Facebook. Those mornings go by in a flash… savor every moment. (and yes I still remember hating when people said that to me when I was sleep deprived!) Hang in there.

  10. rosecappelli says :

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment, Stacey! Glad we can all share in your family love.

  11. Kristi Lonheim (@lonheim) says :

    Ah, for the perspective of a child. I hope they both sleep well tonight (so you can, too!)

  12. jarhartz says :

    An absolutely lovely moment to tuck away in your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️

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