My kids still want to be tucked in at night. The ritual is always the same. I sit on the edge of the bed (they have bunk beds but want to sleep together in the same bed). I tell them I love them. They tell me they love me. They ask "Mommy, what should I dream about tonight?" If I'm in an ornery mood the answer might be cicadas (something that creeps M out) or homework. Usually it's something like butterflies, the beach, or something related to our day. I tickle them a bit and we laugh before going to sleep.
Waking has its own rituals, at least on school days. I sit on the side of their bed and tell them it's time to wake up. M pretends not to hear me. A mumbles something along the lines of "I love you Mommy" which is code for give me ten more minutes of sleep please. I try to steal blankets. I bug them a little, which always cracks me up (but not them so much). It's what we do.
Some time before we leave for the bus or school, A will say "I need a hug". My response is to hug her, of course, and then to ask:
"Will you want hugs from me when you're 18?"
Of course, Mommy. I will always want hugs from you.
"Will you want hugs from me when you're 25?"
Of course, Mommy. I will never be too old for hugs.
"Will you want hugs from me when you're a Mommy?"
Yes, Mommy. You will always be my Mommy. That doesn't stop.
No, it doesn't. For that I am grateful.
There was a book we used to read when they were young. I think the title is "I'll love you for always". We made a song out of it.
I'll like you for always
I'll love you forever
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be
That never gets old.
An older picture but one of my favorites.