Vera moved into her own room recently, getting ready for the new stage of life that is primary school. She’s turning out to be quite the bookworm – new books bought or borrowed excite her, and reading is her new love, apart from art and craft.
It’s been more difficult for me to tuck all the kids in at bedtime, as they usually sleep around the same time. So when I’m putting Josh to bed, either the hubs tucks Vera and JJ in, or he’s with JJ, and Vera goes to sleep on her own.
After Josh is down, I’ll peep into her room, and if she’s still awake, I’ll go in to say a bedtime prayer with her, and spend a few minutes together.
The other night, I went into her room to say goodnight. We thanked God for the fun day, and prayed for Josh who’s been getting a bit irritable at mealtimes as he exerts his independence over choice and amount of food. (Limitless is best, by the way, and lots and lots of meat. According to his books.)
Afterwards, we started laughing, marvelling at how Josh was talking more, but still very much in babyish. Like how he would say “oper” for open, “ber” for bread, “gah” for his water-gun, and other funny terms that he’s been throwing out. It was a brief funny moment, where we took turns mimicking Josh talking, but it was also a precious one.
Then I remembered I shouted that day, when Josh pushed all the buttons.
So I asked Vera, “Do you think mummy is fierce?”
She said, “No,” and then added, “…only when you shout.”
Okay. I took that as my cue for an apology. I said sorry for shouting, explaining that it was because of Joshie throwing tantrums at lunch-time, but then realised the reason doesn’t the action. So I stopped and said:
“I’ll try harder. Pray for mama too?”
She nodded, okay.
Bedtimes are times for grace to show up.
Even when the day has been particularly hard or dreary, even when we’ve made mistakes throughout the day, even when we’ve shouted, bedtimes are for
hugging, laughing, tickling, praying, and kissing foreheads.
At bedtime, truth and fears show up too. Like the time Vera voiced out her fear about a nightmare she had the previous night.
Bedtime is a chance for us to start over. When we mess up, we have a chance to make things right. It’s also a chance to connect and listen to our children – to their fears and anxieties.
Do you cherish bedtime moments too?
PS. I found this article really helpful in helping us recover from those moments of yelling. Let me know if you like it too!