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     I awake groggily from a dream, a fragment of something that so quickly slips from memory. I roll over onto my back and stretch my legs from the fetal position I sleep in. To my right, I catch sight of two sleeping beauties curled up back to back. My oldest daughter, 6 years old, cuddles her stuffed kitty as her back meets the back of my youngest, 13 months, who is facing me. Dawn's sunlight brushes their skin with a golden coat of warmth. Marie's long dark hair fans out above her head, some strands laying across the baby's arms. I chuckled at the thought of Adelaide awaking to find such a discovery and in instant mischievousness tugs at it. Adelaide herself has a few auburnish strands laying across her face. No matter how I try, I can not keep those strands from finding their place in her face.

     I see golden skin of the baby's contrast against Marie's dark tan. I often wonder how to describe the beauty in different skin tones, one so easily displayed before my eyes. The contrast of their difference is just lovely. I think people would rather one not point out the difference in skin tones, but how can you not when there are so many, lovely, creamy, rich colors. I like to think that these are different colors of the Earth's ground and the skin tones of each region can be found there. So perhaps in Korea, there is a yellowish clay that would describe my skin tone.

     I gaze upon my children, taking in their sight, so sweet and silent in the early morning sun rays. This will be the only moment I have such an opportunity, because upon their awakening it will be a whirlwind of cries out to mommy, tears and laughter, and chores. Sitting up I look at Marie's face. I remember all the moments that I gather throughout each day, as I realize how much she's grown. She's becoming a real beauty. Oh how I hope the boys don't notice. It's a tenuous time for her. Wanting to be babied like her younger sister, but at the same time growing up so maturely and quickly. It's a balance of guiding her as she grows, and still giving her the love and affection she wants. Some moments I have to wonder if perhaps I'm a bit too hard on her, treating her older than what she really is. 

      My mind drifts lazily into random thoughts when I realize how early Marie climbed into bed last night. I wonder if she had a bad dream? She usually doesn't get into bed with us until the break of dawn. Oh joys of co-sleeping. I guess they never really do get out of bed do they? I think back to last night as my husband and I curl into bed with Adelaide between us. "When will we have our bed back?", is the question of the night. Every night.

      Perhaps one night Adelaide will be sleeping in her own bed and Marie will be too old to climb into bed with us. But not after we have other children, who will also, probably get into the habit of finding comfort with us at night. It will be awhile before we have our bed back. Or at least I hope.