My sons and I have a daily tradition we call Morning Snuggle. Morning Snuggle is exactly what it sounds like: we snuggle in the morning.
It involves the boys making various amounts of noise before 6:30 a.m. -- which is the time we have told them they may exit their rooms -- and then barreling into our room at 6:31 a.m.
Jack (my 9-year-old) and Oliver (six) find me cocooned in my sheets and fluffy comforter. They wriggle in with their icy feet and Tinkertoy arms and legs, burrowing close to me and I to them.
Their hair is mussed, their cheeks are ever-so-slightly flushed with sleep and happiness. Tiny bits of nighttime crust might remain in the corners of their eyes. Rarely do they have morning breath, and for that, I am grateful.
Their matched-set jammies are soft and still make me see them as little ones who will wear such pjs: friendly pirates and penguins on a festive boat; red, white and blue stars; smiling sharks; all manner of motor vehicle.
Only recently do they seem keen on having different patterns on their pajamas; for years they've wanted to match. Shark Brothers, Bat Brothers...any team is possible when your sleepwear differs only by size.
In our blanketed island, we hold each other close. I kiss them to excess and they tell me about dreams they had. They know that I know they are spinning the crazy tales as they tell them, but we all pretend otherwise. And then I kiss them some more.
"I love yous" are batted about like an Olympic ping pong ball; as if we have the whole night of silence to make up for. Morning snuggle is fairly ideal which is to say it's also somewhat ephemeral.
Before I know it, Oliver has started "mining" his way under the sheets to the foot of the bed. There, he will begin to terrorize our legs and bottoms because in those things he delights. Jack kicks which is his immediate, instinctive reaction to being tickled, and invariably, Oliver is, at some point, kicked.
Soon after the tears are dried, Oliver will probably fart which will both stink us out and lead to a rapid fire discussion about butts. Someone begins to jump. I repeat the daily message about how much it hurts to bash one's head on the wooden headboard.
Morning snuggle's time in winding down. Rapidly.
Finally I can take the mayhem no more and so get up to leave. "No, Mom, just a minute more. We'll calm down. SWEAR!" But they know that I know they won't, and anyhow, it's time for breakfast.
That denouement is an integral part of Morning Snuggle anyway. Something's got to give or we'd be in that bed forever. There's always tomorrow.