Growing up, I always considered my mom to be one of my best friends. Like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, our relationship was different than the ones my friends had with their mothers. We talked and enjoyed spending time together. Maybe it was the age difference? My mom was a young mom. Beyond that, she was a snuggly mom.
As a child, the safest space in the world was my mom’s bed.
After a bad dream — or often first thing in the morning — she’d invite me in, folding the covers back as one turns the page of a book, revealing the perfect space, sized just for me.
Once I crawled into bed, she would adjust the sheets and the comforter just the way she likes them. It became part of our nightly routine. It became something I then did in my own bed as well. It’s one of those little things that will always feel like home.
It’s a very detail oriented process. An exact science. First, she pulls up the sheet. When I was younger, it would balloon all around me like a parachute, and I could see straight down to our feet. It was the perfect cave. Then she adjusts the comforter and folds the sheet over, smoothing out any wrinkles. The sheet was like a seat belt, securing us in this space where I’ll always be safe and loved.
Some nights she would rub my back or tickle my forehead to almost instantly lull me to sleep. Sometimes we would talk.
She’d tell me stories from her girlhood. There was the time she jumped off a low roof and bit into in her tongue. How she used to get growing pains in her legs as a kid. How her favorite toy was her pogo stick.
Sometimes we’d watch TV. I remember watching Mighty Mouse in the early morning hours or Rescue 911 in the evening, plus the occasional episodes of Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek.
It’s where we would go to read together. For years, she would read aloud to me and my younger brothers. As we got older, we’d bring our own books into her bed, just to be together while we read on our own.
It’s where I’d always want to be if I was sick. It’s where I would always return when I was homesick. There was never any space more comforting.
There’s an age around puberty when society decide that bodies can only be sexual. Therefore kids, tweens, and teens stop engaging in physical contact with their parents. Hugs and snuggles become a thing of the past.
There has never been a time or an age when we didn’t hug.
The invitation to enjoy the nostalgic comfort of her bed is always there. I’m a mom with two kids of my own, and when we come to visit, my mom’s bed is the first stop, after the fridge, of course.
My kids will run off to her bedroom when they first wake up for a morning snuggle. Before bedtime, they climb up, their hair still wet from baths, zipped neck-to-toe into dinosaur pajamas. They scoot close to my mom. She takes the sheet and lifts it up over their heads. I hear their giggles as they now have the chance to experience the distinct joy of the temporary blanket cave. My mom folds the sheet down. Right before she makes her final smoothing move, I carefully peel back the edge of the blankets. I slide into my mom’s bed, sandwiching my children between us.
We adjust the sheets, layer on the comfort with the comforter, and snuggle in.