In the Dark of Night

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Today I am linking up with The Lightning & the Lightning-Bug for the prompt, “In the Dark of Night.”


I tiptoe in to check on you, five crumpled dollar bills in my fist.

You sleep hard, tangled up in sheets, stuffed Nemo clutched tightly.

Your soft snores and sighs trickle through the night air,

Damp tendrils of hair cling to your cheeks—if I look closely I can still see the baby you.

On the cusp of six, you’re growing up at lightning speed, going through so much all at once, but dealing with it in your usual graceful way. Not asking for help, but tucking it inside and letting it marinate. Trying to be the big girl you almost are.

Izzy lost her first tooth Saturday night, on Yom Kippur!

Here, in the dark, you are still my baby girl. Despite new glasses, despite the first lost tooth, despite dealing with mean girls at school.

In the dark of night I whisper I’m sorry for all I’ve done wrong during the day.

In the dark of night I feel relieved that tomorrow is new so we can start over.

In the dark of night I think about the changes ahead–you will be a big sister in 11 days and I hope you’ll realize that I have room in my heart for all of you.

In the dark of night I quietly take your baby tooth out of the tooth fairy pillow and put the money in its place.

In the dark of night I feel a catch in my throat and I think:

Don’t be a big girl just yet.

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  • Amanda

    Oh my, how sweet. Your love for her just radiates from this piece.Great job!

    • Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Amanda! ;-)

  • Elaine A.

    “In the dark of night I whisper I’m sorry for all I’ve done wrong during the day.”
    Yep, me too. ;) 

    • Erin Margolin


      Good to know I’m not alone in that….I hate it. It’s so hard sometimes…this being a mom thing.

  • Nichole

    Just beautiful, my sweet friend.
    It is in the dark of night that my thoughts run wild too. The good, the less-than-good, all of it.
    Such delicate and lovely writing, Erin.

    • Erin Margolin


      Thank you, sweets! Your comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy!

  • Cynthia Davis

    I cried and cried the night I was the tooth fairy for the last time, left my youngest son a sappy letter and a quadruple cash prize in my grief…only to have to do it all again a month later (sans the letter and bonus bucks) when it turned out he had one more baby tooth that got missed in the count.  Enjoy every moment for as long as you can…they go so fast!

    • Erin Margolin


      Oh my gosh! What a story! Bittersweet and funny all at once. Thanks so much for coming by to read! xoxo

  • Anonymous

    How precious….I love this. I love the twist you took on this prompt. Your writing voice is tender and sweet. Congrats on the upcoming birth!

    • Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much! ;-)

  • Galit Breen

    Congrats Izzy!!

    Also? Excellent take on the prompt! I love where you went with this. Even the dark of the night is Mama fodder, isn’t it?

    Should I say it one more time? Go Izzy!!


    • Erin Margolin


      LOVE YOU!!!!! #thatisall


  • Andrea B.

    Beautifully written. I can fully feel your heart beating as you sneak on in. I love it, Erin, truly. Xox

    • Erin Margolin


      This means so much to me. Thank you, sweet friend, for your kind comments. xoxoxo

  • jessica

    Oh I love this so much Erin, I cried at the first lost tooth of my oldest’s and I’m sure I will do it again with my little ones. Beautifully captured.

    • Erin Margolin


      We moms sure are sappy, aren’t we?!!? LOL! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Angela

    This is so gorgeous.  And I am sorry she is dealing with mean girls at school.  Why oh why are there always mean girls? :(  Letting go of some of the baby stuff is easy, like diapers.  But the intangible? The growing up?  That is harder for me.

    • Erin Margolin


      I know, the mean girls stuff is hard. Especially at this tender, young age. I don’t get it. I hope she will find her footing soon and get through it unscathed…

  • Anonymous

    Oh! This just gave me chills. What a beautiful moment you described between mother and daughter…with daughter sleeping and mother just watching and adoring her. I loved it! 

    I hate that she’s having to deal with mean girls, but she’s obviously a beautiful, happy little girl and that trumps mean girls ALWAYS. 
    Thanks so much for linking up! I love your take on the prompt :)

    • Erin Margolin


      Thanks for letting me link up!! I hate the mean girls, too. I don’t think there’s much I can do, though. She’ll have to find her way, and all I can do is be there for her and listen and give hugs and step in when I have to…oy!

  • Ada

    Oh, that is so sweet. You capture the moment with perfection and grace. Lovely!

    • Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Ada! So glad you stopped by! ;-)

  • LeeBlock

    YAY for lost teeth!!  Both kids lost one on the same day last week.  Dee only has 5 left to lose…and she is wearing bras….and I just sent in apps for middle schools….and good job for remembering to be the tooth fairy!!  Oh…and beautiful writing as usual.

    • Erin Margolin


      WTF w/ bras—-I am SO NOT READY TO HAVE THREE GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

  • Random Blogette

    That is so beautiful as always! Paige hasn’t lost a tooth yet but she swears every day that she has loose ones. This makes me think how Paige is growing up so quickly and I am just not ready for it (most days). Now I am getting a little teary. And BTW $5?? My kids get $1, with glitter on it. ;)

    • Erin Margolin


      She only got $5 b/c it was her first tooth, and b/c she especially has been having a really rough time lately (w/ baby coming, glasses, mean girls, etc.). I’m just a sucker. But next tooth? Definitely only $1!!

  • Kimberly

    I do this too.
    My son is still a baby (three) but I’ve missed so much of him grow bc of postpartum depression. I’m in awe at how fast they grow…but when he sleeps, I still see my baby.
    This is beautifully written and the imagery is spot on.

    • Erin Margolin


      I know what you mean about the PPD. Which is why I’m terrified also about this baby coming. I know there’s nothing I can do, and that it might not necessarily happen again, but….I’m nervous. I don’t want it to ruin everything. xoxoxo

  • Evonne

    My youngest lost his first tooth a few weeks ago.  Putting that 5 dollar bill in his envelope was definitely bittersweet.  I can still see the baby in him, even though he no longer is one.  Turning around to see my oldest pick out which training bra to wear definitely reminds me time goes too fast.

    • Erin Margolin


      OMG, did you say TRAINING BRA?!?!? I think you will have to give me some pointers in a few years. Holy crap. I’m not ready for this!

  • betsy

    “In the dark of night I whisper I’m sorry for all I’ve done wrong during the day.”
    Thoughts of all the wrong I’ve done during the day keeps me up for hours some nights. It’s my own darkness in the dark night.

    • Erin Margolin


      We must be soul mates. Long lost sisters. Because your comment? Is the story of my life and why I need meds to sleep at night. Le sigh.

  • Anonymous

    Oh sweetie they grow up so fast anymore. I think we all wish they would stay little longer then they do.

    • Erin Margolin


      Yeah, but some days? I’m ready for them to grow up—like today! LMAO!

  • AwayWeGoNancy

    This is so lovely, friend. Those quiet moments are holy, as far as I’m concerned. It’s time to finally stop and really see.

    Izzy is gorgeous. She looks so much like you. And I love her glasses. Of course, I’m partial to children in glasses.

    Five dollars? I was going to give O $1 when he starts losing teeth. Poor kid.

    Delicate, beautiful work.

    • Erin Margolin


      She got $5 b/c it was her first tooth and because she, in particular, is having a rough time lately, esp. w/ baby coming….I’m a sucker.

      I am partial to kids w/ glasses, too. I was one, now I have one, and so do you. Maybe we can set them up when they’re older?!?! xoxo

  • Kir

    I love the way you wrote it like a prayer, a plea for her to stay little. it was so beautiful.

    • Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Kir!

      Funny how after a day like today? I’m ready for her to grow up some more! LOL!!!

  • Juliecgardner

    Don’t be a big girl just yet…
    Oh how I know this feeling. 

    Your children are so lucky to have you, Erin. 
    All three of them. Really.p.s. 11 days!!!

    • Erin Margolin


      I suck at replying to comments in a timely fashion these days. But the good part? Is that now I have LESS THAN 11 DAYS! Thank goodness, b/c I can’t take it anymore. You are such a sweetheart. xoxoxo

  • Annabelle

    The ending is really just beautiful.  Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin Margolin


      Thanks for reading!!!  ;-)

  • Musings de Mommy

    Exquisite. I can feel the building crescendo.  xoxo

    • Erin Margolin


      Awwww, you are too kind! Thank you so much. MWAH!

  • Christine Siracusa

    Weeping. I know exactly what that moment feels like. Beautiful.

    • Erin Margolin


      Thank you so very much for visiting and I’m glad you can relate. They grow up so fast even though sometimes it seems like time is crawling by….

  • Ally

    Beautifully written, as always, Erin. 

    • Erin Margolin

      Thanks and hugs, Ally. I am so glad you came by.

  • unknownmami

    Sometimes I just want to freeze time.

    • Erin Margolin


      YES! But just not right now b/c I really need to get this baby out of me. xoxoxo

  • Anonymous

    The line about still being able to see her babyness for a moment. I see that sometimes and it kills me. Great post.

    • Erin Margolin


      I know….the babyness? It’s a killer sometimes. It’s like I want to grab hold of it, but it drifts off/away in a split second. Glimpses every now and then have to be enough.

  • Anita

    You have expressed the deepest kind of love that you have for your child.

    Thank you for sharing her special milestones with a picture. :)

    • Erin Margolin


      Thank you. I couldn’t help myself w/ the photo. But I seriously need to learn how to watermark ‘em. Le sigh.

  • Desperate Housemommy

    Exquisite.  I actually have a Tooth Fairy post in draft form…now I fear I don’t do it justice.  ;)  Well done.

    • Erin Margolin

      Desperate Housemommy,

      OH NO! Don’t say that! If I listened to my Inner Voice every time I was about to hit “publish,” I wouldn’t even have a blog! I’m sure it’s lovely—let’s see it?!?!?!

  • Mama Track

    I’d blame my hormones but I think I’m teary because I loved this. And, even though my son is younger, I so identify with the changes we are both going through. Such a lovely post, Erin. Just lovely.

    • Erin Margolin

      Mama Track,

      You are the sweetest. Thank you so much for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed this!

  • Jana Anthoine

    Oh, this is so so sweet <3 She's beautiful in her glasses with her lost tooth. I know a boy she would be adorable with ;) Do you believe in arranged marriages? :)

    • Erin Margolin


      I’m TOTALLY into the arranged marriage thing. Tell me all about your little one! ;-)

      • Jana Anthoine

        Hahahah! Well, he’s 7. He wears tennis shoes all the time. He likes soccer, scouting, being dirty, eating things with his hands. He needs a haircut and his favorite accessory is his wool raccoon hat. He has no trust fund but he has a fabulous sense of humor. Oh, and he cusses like a champ! 

  • MiMi

    My little guy lost his first tooth the day before his 6th birthday. Sads. :/

    • Erin Margolin


      Awwww! Abby is so jealous she can’t stand it. I’m thinking it might be awhile before she loses her first tooth since she was really late to get hers in to begin with???

  • Deanna Roddy

    Beautiful post! My youngests (twins) just turned 7, and my oldest 8.. they have lost multiple teeth by now, all of their front teeth are adult teeth. They grow up way too fast. No more tooth fairy playing for me. I was always scared they would wake up and I’d run out as fast as I could, lol

    • Erin Margolin


      Oh wow, you have twins, too?!?! So cool! Nice to meet you, fellow mom of multiples plus one! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Deanna Roddy

        Awesome, didn’t realize you had twins, as well. Mine are all less than a year apart. It’s been difficult. I think the teenage years are going to be the worst though, lol BTW, I’m following you now!!

  • Lady Jennie

    She is sweet with those glasses, that look and that gap!  It’s had to see them grow at times, and it can be especially poignant when a new baby is on the way.

    • Erin Margolin


      yup…especially w/ all these pregnancy hormones floating around. Thanks for coming by!

  • Jackie

    What an adorable little girl!
    My daughter lost her front two teeth at about the same time and I swear that it took almost a year and a half to grow in!

    • Erin Margolin


      I can’t wait for the top teeth to come out! ;-)

  • Terri Sonoda

    I loved this story.  And your girls are beautiful just like their Mommy.  

  • Gayletrini

    so wonderfully written and just how I feel every night as I look in on my girls. Congrats again on sweet Piper’s arrival

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