The clock struck nine just as I walked in the front door. Exhausted by work, I dropped down on my couch, breathed a sigh, and hopped up again. I rubbed my tired eyes and looked my six-year-old son, Rice, in his big brown eyes. “I guess it’s time to get you guys in bed.”
Rice’s little mouth split into a smile. “You don’t have to, Mama.”
“Nice try,” I replied, “But it’s your bedtime.”
“No, Mama, I mean Sissy is putting Logan to bed, and she said she’ll put me to bed after she finishes reading him his bedtime story.” His smile spread even wider, showing all of his little pearly whites.
Just about that time, Emilia rounded the corner. “Oh, hi, Mama. I just put Logan down, and now,” her eyes shifted to Rice. “Come on, buddy. Let’s get you to bed too.”
I stood there in shock as I watched them, hand in hand, walk down the hallway to Rice’s room.
I sat back down on the sofa. What just happened? When did my little girl grow up and become such a precious young lady? I sat back and recalled all the tea parties, all the Easy Bake Oven bake offs. I reminisced over all the early morning tickle sessions and late night toe-nail paintings. I remember her calling me for help in the middle of the night when she had bad dreams, and staring up at all the Christmas lights as we snuggled under the Christmas tree. All the memories rushed to my mind, and then a tear trickled down my cheek.
How did she grow up so fast? I must have been enjoying it too much because the time went by so quickly. As soon as my thoughts began to settle, Emilia walked back into the room and sat down on the couch beside me.
“Mama, I got the boys to bed for you because I saw it was getting late, and I didn’t want you to have to worry about it.”
“Thank you, sweetie.”
She smiled her beautiful smile and snuggled around my arm. “Mind if I stay up with you? We could watch a girly movie together?”
“Mommy and Emi night sounds good.”
Emilia snuggled into my arm like a warm kitten, and I pulled a blanket around us as we settled in for our Chick-flick. I glanced over at her beautiful face highlighted by the flickers of the television screen, and I couldn’t help but relished the fact that although my little girl has grown into a beautiful young princess, she’s not ready to go anywhere just yet, and until her handsome prince comes…A VERY LONG TIME FROM NOW…I’ll just keep cherishing every moment I get with my princess.