Bedtime. Sweet moments filled with rocking in the glider,snuggles, a book or two, a song, and a handful of hugs and kisses and that’s it. Lights out. Shut the door, and voila – alone time.
I have a toddler now so our nights go more like: Bedtime. (Shhhh! Don’t even say “bedtime”, because that will result in a meltdown that yields a path of destruction wider than a Texas tornado!) Pajamas, but she’s ONLY putting them on to be comfy NOT because she’s tired. Lay by her, no sit by her. Come closer you’re too far away, scoot over you’re touching me. Mom, read me a book? No not that book, THIS book. Halfway through the book- “I don’t like this book, read the other book please?” As I am teetering at the edge, on the brink of insanity she pulls me back in one fell swoop with a tender “I love you Momma, thank you for teaching me to go to sleep.” Woah. What?!
There’s a concept.
During this season of parenthood bedtime is my least favorite part of the day. After an evening full of rushing and hustling to and from activities or lessons I’m frazzled with nothing left to give. And just like that, this little person I am constantly trying to mold and shape and nudge down the path of life, gives me a lesson. It’s bedtime, and I’m still teaching her. It’s bedtime, and she has what seems like a million needs but really all she is asking for is love. My love and patience, when I give it to her she sees it as me teaching her.
Maybe its a lesson in patience, or to slow down and breathe, maybe I’m teaching her its okay to need others. But she is really teaching me and as her independence unfolds and blooms more each day with each task that she claims “I can do it myself!” I realize this bedtime madness is short-lived, and before I know it I will be the one opening her door multiple times asking for another hug.
So tonight as I slowly creep out of her room and close the door anxious to pour myself into a hot bath and unwind I hesitate, and I gaze at her sweetly slumbering hugging her pink elephant. And I think to myself maybe, just maybe, I still love bedtime.
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