The Things We Sleep With

I remember the stuffed animals and dolls I slept with, when I was little. I remember making caves for them with my blanket and legs. I remember feeling guilty about who slept next to me, who did not, and who fell to the floor in the middle of the night. My grandma once told me a story about my aunt taking her new shoes to bed with her. One of my favorite scenes in the movie “A Christmas Story” is when both brothers go to bed with their Christmas treasures. Since Sophie was a baby she has gone to bed not only with stuffed animals, but with the bedtime stories she chooses for the night. The boys have begun insisting on sleeping with their favorite car of the day. And James must have the quilt Nini made for him when he was in the NICU. And Owen must have his favorite book, “Goodnight Moon.” There is a comfort in sleeping with something, someone, you love.

The day after Sophie turned 4 she saw a play—”Rapunzel”—at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati with her Grandma and Paw Paw (a birthday gift from her parents). She loved it. She still talks about the actors who ran off the stage, with the same enthusiasm and awe as I retold the story of the children running out from underneath Mother Gigogne’s skirt in “The Nutcracker,”—a play I saw with my mom and grandma when I was about Sophie’s age. I still have the souvenir playbook from the ballet—I put it out every Christmas. At the end of “Rapunzel,” Grandma bought Sophie a tiara.

She loves it.


‘There is a latent fairy in all women, but look how carefully we have to secrete her in order to be taken seriously. And fairies come in all shapes, colors, sizes and types, they don’t have to be fluffy. They can be demanding and furious if hey like. They do, however, have to wear a tiara. That much is compulsory.” —Dawn French