Last night, for the first time, Gwen slept in her big brother's bedroom.
Without her cot crowding our bedside, the room felt airy, clean and new. My shoulders softened as I set out fresh white bedclothes. An undercurrent of excitement rose at the possibilities suggested by that cot-shaped space.
Later, after stopping in to listen to the children's deep tandem breaths, I lay in bed a while, thinking about Gwen's downy cheek on mine. Her pursed lips and bean-shaped face asleep next to me. Tiny fists clutching my hair when she woke.
The next morning, she and I rubbed faces. Gwen squealed, pulling my ear. I kissed her eyes, the small apostrophes of her eyelids blinking away the suggestion of morning tears.
The new day beckoned, open and bright.