our time

I didn’t take many lone pictures of Eddie while we were at the cottage last week. That wasn’t on purpose, but as I click through the hundreds of shots Cortney and I got of those five days, most are of groups of people doing group things.

There is a pretty legit reason for this: during our waking hours, we were all always together. We were with each other.

Eddie and Charlie always had someone to play with…even if it was each other while the rest of us sat and chatted.

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The days were a relaxed busy…if there is such a thing.

We kept the boys going going going.

But at night…when it was quiet in the cottage, and his little brother had gone to bed, and his aunts and uncles and cousins had gone to play cards…Eddie and I readied him for bed.

The first night he said to me, “mom, I’m scared.”

When I asked why he said, “Because it’s new and that is a little bit scary. Will you lay by me?”

I told him I would be sleeping in that little bed with him all night since daddy would be sleeping in the front room with Bird.

“Can you just stay in bed now? Don’t go read your book?”

The first night I tried to tell him I would just be outside his door. He could lay with his head where his feet should be and stare at me if he wanted to.

He did.

The second night we both sat up reading until bed time.

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He simply would not go to sleep unless I was in the bed with him. So Ok, I went to bed by 10pm every night.

I’m so glad for this.

We would talk about all the fish on the walls (there was a wall paper boarder of fish around the room) and how they  made a pattern.

Each night he asked me to read the same three books, the last one always had to be Love You Forever. He would recite the song with me:

I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.

Each night he asked me if I would keep him safe.

Each night he rolled into me and put his arm out to make sure I was there as he fell asleep.

He has always needed someone to be there as he drifted to sleep, but knowing I wasn’t leaving made it different. I wasn’t getting up to go to my own bed after he fell asleep. We would chat some nights until I finally would say, “Ok bud. We need to get some sleep. I love you.”

And of he would say, “I love you more than the wide world, mommy.”

No matter how uncomfortable that dang bed was, or how much Eddie tossed and turned, I sort of loved those four nights.

I didn’t get good sleep and as a result found myself heading down a dark road, but in those moments of falling to sleep, all was Ok.

He would start to cry in the night…scared and not knowing where he was. He would start to call for his Daddy because that is what he does at home.

But I would immediately wake up, turn to him and rub his cheek and tell him I was there. And he would immediately settle back into sleep.

Each morning I would sense his waking at least 30 minutes before he opened his eyes. He would start to toss and turn and move his arms and legs. I did my best to sleep through it, but just as the tossing stopped and my mind slipped back to sleep, I would feel his blue eyes.


When I opened my eyes he would smile, “Hi, mommy. I want to get up now.”

And up he got, turning on the light, finding his clothes, getting dressed, and heading out to sit by grandpa and grandma.

The day had started and it was time to share my little buddy with everyone else.

As much as I really didn’t like the sleeping arrangements or the quality of the bed, I ended up by being surprised by how much joy that alone time with Eddie brought me.

I realized how much I missed his tiny self, but how proud I am of his big boy self.

I also realized how important it is that Eddie and I have time just the two of us.

A little our time.


About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. What a sweet, sweet time with your little big boy. The days pass so quickly, I love that you’re enjoying every single bit of it.

  2. I love those times with my kids, too, but the lack of sleep eventually breaks me.

  3. aww

  4. I love this because it’s true. There needs to be individual time and giving in to new routines, even temporarily, benefits you both. The crappy bed would have taken some getting over, though.

  5. So sweet. I started a new bed time routine with my little one since she started school – I do bath time, instead of having big sister help with that. We sit in the bathroom together – her in the tub, me on the (closed) toilet and we play and talk. Then she when she gets out and into her jammies, we lay on her bed together and I read to her for a little while… That’s our alone time now. I miss having her home something fierce but seeing her come running to the car with a huge smile at the end of the day is so worth it!

  6. This post is pure loveliness. That one-on-one time IS so important, and I’m glad your soul got filled with it, even if it meant a so-so sleep.


  7. This is so good. I get so impatient with my kids, the fact that what they want isn’t always perfect timing for me or exactly the way I want to spend my time. You are fortunate to have this time with your son, and it reminds me to be more generous with my kids. Thank you.

  8. I love that you have these memories with him. In a few years it will not be like this anymore so these times are super precious! 🙂

  9. This is great. In the day to day rush it is easy to forget (or overlook) how much our kids need to be the center of our attention, and we need to be the center of theirs.

  10. I loved this! I have a similar experience with my son lately that has been percolating in my brain, and I really relate. Slowing down is good for everyone.

  11. aw, what a sweet time. I’m glad you got to share this with your boy. Those before bed talks and cuddles really are the best. I learn so much about my children in that window. xo.

  12. I love those special little one-on-one times. I don’t get that time with my oldest as much anymore I have been thinking that it is time to doing something fun on our own together. Your post was just the inspiration I needed. 🙂

  13. I love this and I totally know what you mean. That time with just two of you is so precious. And it’s so awesome to know that all he needs to feel safe and go back to sleep is you being right there.