After napping a solid three hours, until 5:15, it was not entirely surprising, though he wiped seemingly-weary eyes at story-time, that Emmett was not quite ready to commit to going back to sleep by bed-time at 7:30. And after a steady half-hour or more of fussing, Mommy finally gave in.
It's not as though we do it often, relent to the whines of a little one who isn't wanting to go to bed, that is, but sometimes, very rarely, it just feels more important to have a few more waking moments with these small ones who will not be this small forever.
Thus, he was happily plucked from his crib and released to play for just a little longer on the living room floor. And he could not have been more joyful. Giggling, he showed off his handsome dimples, as he indulged in toys typically selfishly hoarded by his sister. He toyed with the purple pull-and-go VW Bug, learning how to ratchet the wheels and let it drive on its own. He listened to the barking whines of the dogs outside and mimicked them. He climbed, for the first time, onto the hearth (and was given a firm reprimand), something his sister never even tried. Yet another reminder that this boy is growing right before our eyes.
And, as I watched him snuggle and tickle with his Daddy, I thought, sadly, of just how soon he will be grown and out of our house and we will find ourselves much older and only remembering bittersweetly these days and the stolen moments when a certain little boy was out past his bed-time. I certainly do cherish these.