The thing about parenthood is that no matter how crazy the day was, how wild your children were, how exhausted you are, they will (eventually......) go to sleep.
And when they do, they look so sweet, so innocent..... so completely not the screaming hordes you were trying unsuccessfully to wrangle all day long.
They snuggle into the lovies, which you've become nearly as attached to as they are over the years, as you can't imagine a life where you're not extra careful to pack monkey blankie for all trips or dare to leave the house without stuffing an emergency pacifier in your pocket first.
In that moment where they're sleeping but before you go crack open that beer (or bottle of wine, if your the classy sort of parent), you look at them.
You wonder what they're dreaming about. You wonder whether they'll remember you yelling at them for dumping water all over the bathroom floor that evening or how you spent all morning chasing them around laughing and pushing them on the swings at the park. You wonder if they're having a good childhood, if you're doing a good job as a parent, and if everything really will turn out ok.
You wonder whether tomorrow will be as long and exhausting as today was. You wonder whether there will be another meltdown over which cartoon to watch in the morning, another lunch uneaten because you didn't cut the sandwich right, another moment where you sound just like your mother as you tell them to knock it off for the hundredth time. You wonder whether you'll survive another 16 years of it.
And you wonder if you'll miss it when it's gone.
But for that moment, they are sleeping peacefully in their beds, and you can feel accomplished for surviving another day as you let down your guard, your worry, your constant watching of them.
For now they sleep.