Saturday, September 7, 2013

I Love My Children as Much as I Love Their Bedtime

Some days I can't wait for bedtime. I mean the part where my kids go to sleep. Not the part where we go through the sometimes very long though awfully sweet routine of stories and devotions and prayers. I mean it is a sweet routine theoretically, just not when Ainsley says, in the middle of my Jesus Calling for Kids reading, "I sometimes sneeze when I'm brushing my teeth," and I realize I could be reading from the phone book for all of the spiritual enlightenment I'm transferring. But I read on and tuck them in and we say prayers. And Ainsley breathes new life into the room by saying something amazing like she did last night, "Dear God, Thank you for the sweet, sweet way you made my heart. How you made each of us different and how we got to swim today with Izzie and get to go to Home Depot tomorrow with daddy. Thank you for that." And I want to stop time and memorize her voice. How her tousled curls spill across her paisley pillow case. How she curls her little legs into a tiny pretzel in her pale pink bed on top of the flat sheet but still underneath the comforter.

And then I go to kiss them goodnight and Emie holds me close and smells like sunshine, basil peppermint wash, and love. So much love. And though I'm crazy about them both I am so very ready to have some quiet and rest. And then she asks me to kiss her ten more times and finish with a squeaky kiss. And though I've been known to (ahem) exaggerate she really does count them. And so I kiss ten times and start to walk away. Done for the day...until she asks me for a cup of water...from downstairs. And when I bring it up Ainsley asks if she could have a different stuffed animal from the playroom and could it please be a really cute one. And I bring it and they ask if they could listen to a different Bible story because the one they are listening to on Dirk's old iPhone has a scary part and it's not bringing them sweet dreams. In the two seconds in between this question and my turning toward the phone on the dresser Emie has fallen into a deep, trance-like sleep.

But Ains, she's awake like the noonday sun. So I ask which story she'd prefer and instead of the scary one. I begin to list off the stories by their titles (as they are categorized on the phone) when she says she'd like the one where the girl makes that funny laugh. Well, sure I know just the one since I make it my business to get the fresh heck out of their room at bedtime as quickly as I can when those stories start to play. So of course I have no idea which story that one is and am finding all this routine less and less sweet with every passing second. I want nothing more than to pass her some chewable Ambiens with a wood grain chaser and climb into my own bed.

But at long last I find a story that she seems to find acceptable and just as I get to the door she asks if I'll come back in for more kisses and a squeaky one, too. So I oblige and drag myself downstairs and into bed. The pillow feels extra soft and I can feel myself sink into the mattress. Cannot wait for sleep. And then a moment later I hear it. From the monitor the little bluebird says, "I just can't sleep." And you want to know something? A miracle unfolds. Something blossoms up from deep within and I am new again. I want her with me. I cannot get upstairs fast enough to go and get her. To bring her into bed with us and pull her little pretzel folded body next to mine. She's still so tiny. Still my baby. She took my face with both of her hands and kissed me on the cheek. "I love you", she whispered and then was asleep. I mean like within one second I could hear the change in her breathing. For her I am sleeping potion. The chewable bear shaped Ambien and wood grain chaser. I bring her rest. I revel in this moment for a good bit. Lying there in my comfortable bed with a warm and healthy child nuzzled close. She won't likely climb right next to me in bed when she's in junior high. Won't need me in that way. But I sure won't mind if she does.

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  1. Love this note Melinda and so glad you are able to be such a great Mom and rescuer when she can't sleep. Enjoy every moment because before long, they are just too big to snuggle with. I so miss that stage but thankful mine still love me back. :) P.S. LOVE the Jesus Calling daily reads!