Heaven: Two little girls (missing only the big sister who went with Daddy to her matinee performance). A pile of books. A cocoon of covers. A quiet Saturday afternoon.
Heaven – as simply and lovely as that.
“Cozy,” said the 2-year-old.
“Yes,” I agreed.
I read. We cuddled. The big sisters put their small hands on my swollen belly and talked to their baby sibling.
“Kick right now immediately,” Rae commanded. The baby waited a few seconds but then cooperated. Rae giggled when my stomach popped up in response to a strong kick.
“I saw it!” she exclaimed.
Then they both kissed my belly, sending love to the baby dancing within me.
Rae’s big, brown doe eyes sparkled. M.E. kept burrowing in the covers, closer and closer to me.
After I made it through several books, I said, “Let’s just rest.”
Rae rolled over and hugged her Knuffle Bunny stuffed animal, and her breathing slowed almost immediately. M.E. took longer to settle down, but she eventually succumbed to sleep, too.
Even the active baby in my womb seemed to sense the need for stillness and stopped thumping around.
The leaves of the large oak tree outside of my bedroom filtered the afternoon sunlight and just a few beams shimmered through the windows. It wasn’t too hot. I had the perfect conditions for a siesta. I rolled over to my side, watching my little one’s tummies slowly rise and fall and taking in their sweet, still faces. Then I closed my eyes and slept.
I awoke before my girls did. They didn’t appear to have moved an inch. I sighed, thinking of the conversation between a mom and her small daughter that I’d read from Charlotte Zolotow’s I Like to Be Little before our nap.
“Grownups never sit and do nothing.”
“They’re too busy,” said her mother.
“I like to do sit and do nothing,” said the little girl.”I like to be little.”
And I thought, I like to be with my littles because they remind me of the importance of sometimes doing nothing. My smallest children remind me that heaven can be found in a lazy afternoon spent together when you’re given the chance to do nothing and something quite important at the very same time.