He'll be 8 in January.
And no, he doesn't start out by going to bed in in our bed. We tuck him in his own. We giggle. We talk. We pray.
When I head to bed later, I always visit his side first, unraveling him from his thousands of blankets in which he has swaddled himself, so I can kiss his sweaty head while he's sleeping.
At some point in the night, however, most likely when he gets up to use the bathroom, he wanders into our room and plops himself right in between me and my husband.
I wake at least 3 nights a week to find him snuggling either myself or George. I never wake up when he burrows in between us. It's always a surprise in the morning.
"When'd you get here?"
"I don't know."
"Why are you here?"
"It's warm. And I like to snuggle."
You know what?
I am perfectly cool with that. Completely. No hesitation. All for it.
'Cause this kid is going to cease being a kid at some point. Right now, however, he hugs and kisses his Dad, will still plant a big wet one on my lips, runs to me after school, is somewhat ok with public displays of affection - but that is waning, and proclaims loudly and unashamedly, "I love you!"
And frankly, our house is freezing. The extra body heat is welcomed.
So as long as you keep that knobby knee out of my back and that foot off my face, I'm down with it.
Oh, but that pillow is mine. So bring your own, kid. And steal the blanket and I'll kick ya to the carpet.
Probably not . . .
Joline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel and the newly debuted SlimSavers.com. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.