The Other Side of Lullabies

It is late. The hallway is empty save the echoes of wonder and apathy — it is joy and they do not care who knows it. Their imagination is held within four flat walls and falling shades of darkness, but it sparkles in the laughter and rolls forever boundless. They are down the hall, and they are a world away. I am in the living room, content and fat and lazy.

Bedtime is a gamble. It is a spin of the wheel, a ball bumbling over colors, numbers, and so many hopes of days ahead and those we have forgotten. It flirts with sudden snores and cries for cups of water. It skips across stories told, dreams unfolding, and sweet kisses that wish goodnight. We make our bets accordingly and our beds are slightly less so.

Tonight it landed long after my footsteps faded, and they let their whispered words inspire them to action — quiet conversations built upon a rising crescendo until what was once tucked in became undone, and the only things covered were sheets by shadows and the soft undersides of bouncing feet.

I stood in the doorway with the night behind me and their glow contagious. Their eyes were bright and turned upward at the corners. I stood there in the doorway with my intentions quickly melting, and I watched them make the moments they will remember always.

My goodnight fell somewhere between the moon and the lingering sound of memories.

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