Why I Really Love Bedtime (and it’s Probably Not the Reason You Think)

sleeping_baby

I love bedtime around here. Love it. Yes, some of it is because the house finally gets quiet. I enjoy that last little bit of the evening when the kids are tucked in, the dogs are mostly asleep, and it’s just my husband and I sitting on the couch. Sometimes he watches tv while I read, sometimes we talk, and sometimes one or the other of us passes out by 9:30 – but those couple of hours of peace and quiet are lovely.

However, those calm moments without the kid-created chaos aren’t the reason I love bedtime so much.

I really love and cherish those last few minutes of each day with my kiddos.

I love sitting on my ten year old’s bed with her talking about whatever is on her mind. Sometimes it can be a serious conversation about what is going on in the world – things she’s heard about at school or seen on the news, headlines she read or an adult conversation she overheard. Sometimes we talk about fun plans coming up or how she feels about the new Minecraft world she and her cousin created. Sometimes we pray for people we’re worried about or she shares something in her own life she’s worried about. And sometimes we just hug for a few minutes, enjoying each other’s company without being interrupted by younger siblings.

I love tucking in the two younger girls. I love answering questions about aliens and playground etiquette. I love giving 10 hugs and 15 kisses, and getting squeezed around the neck by my almost five year old. I love picking out my eight year old’s clothes because she has a hard time waking up in the morning, and finding matching clothes is just too much at 6:30am. I love being asked to sing just one more lullaby, and hearing a new theory on why God made girls be the ones to have babies (they’re pretty sure it’s because girls are usually softer and more cuddly). I love prayers for no bad dreams, and can we please have a unicorn?

I love rocking my baby boy to sleep. I love holding him in the dark, quiet room, watching his eyes slowly drift shut. I love measuring how long his legs are getting – it’s almost time for new footie pajamas – and brushing his hair off his face. I love that feeling when he finally gives up on being awake, and his whole body sags into mine. He rests his head on my shoulder, and I can feel those slow, warm breaths on my neck. I know these days are numbered and he’s my last little one to rock to sleep, so sometimes I sit there a few extra minutes just enjoying that small body that is finally still after a long day of playing.

So as much as I enjoy finally being able to have a conversation with my husband without someone asking for milk or a snack or help with homework, and as much as I like being able to sit on the couch without someone throwing a ball at my head or escaping out the doggy door, I can honestly say that my favorite part of bedtime is not the aloneness, but those final few minutes of togetherness.

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