It is 9:04 and I FINALLY have both my girls in bed. This is the time of the night that I think back to when I had no kids and wonder….did I really long for this? Really???…. I was upset that I wasn’t pregnant yet and “missing out”???? No way, can’t be.
My mouth literally hurts by this time of the night. I say things over and over again—even with trying to just say things like “coat”, “homework”, “teeth”. I still seem to talk non-stop once they get in the door until they go to bed.
First I try to chat about their day, ask about their friends, find out what they read at school.
Then there is homework….I try hard to treat my kids like they are my students at this point because as a classroom teacher I didn’t resort to corporal punishment or berating my kids- both of which, if I was honest with myself I have thought of doing when for the bizzillionth time I’m trying to explain how to actually do the item assigned. (Lord bless their teachers!)
Next we have to work on piano.
Then there is getting ready for bed. It is at this time of the night that my girls want to talk. Talk? Now????? I’ve been doing that all day–at work, at home—I don’t want to talk anymore. I want quiet….I want peace….
But really, I want to capture these times that they WANT to talk. There will be a day when they won’t really want to talk if I don’t capture the moments now. I have been praying that God would help me to slow down at bedtime and do just that- capture the moments. Yes, my mouth hurts and I don’t want to talk, but maybe I don’t have to. Maybe I need to listen more while they talk.
Tonight both girls wanted to put the stickers on their calendars.
Was it the best time?
But did we do it?
Why? Well, I got to go through and talk about holidays and what they are and why we celebrate them. I got to hear what they think about the holidays too. It was a time to go over months and dates with my five- year-old. It was a time to hear what it is that my eight-year-old is most interested in….her friends as she put their birthdays on the calendar before thinking to do her family birthdays. Did it lengthen bedtime? Yes. But it gave me some time with each child, alone in their room just hanging out, marking the calendar.
Those days on the calendar go by too fast—capture the moments while you can. And give your mouth a rest and listen, hear what they are saying to you.