I will never win an award for my parenting skills when it comes to my boy's nightime habits. From the day they were born, I have never been good at creating a nightime schedule and sticking to it. Most nights consist of multiple trips to the bathroom, extra drinks, another kiss goodnight and numerous questions they had no interest in until the lights were turned off but now just have to know the answer to.
One of the best ways for me to keep the 6 and 8 year old in bed is to agree to sit in their room with them until they are asleep. I know, I know- terrible habits but see my first sentence above. Most nights I spend this time in their room anxiously tapping my foot and re-thinking the million things I could be doing instead however tonight I just sat in the darkness and listened.
I listened to them say their prayers and ask God to bless their family and friends, I listened to them whisper in the dark, "Mom are you still here? I love you". I listened as their breathing slowed as the sandman came. For a long time after they were asleep I stayed and listened and thought...not of what I could be doing, but rather the weekend I spent with my family. I thought of our warm home where my family gathered to share a Thanksgiving dinner. I thought of the boys' Christmas wishes as they made their list for Santa. I thought of a Saturday night spent around a warm fire as we watched Christmas movies. I thought of the way my youngest curled up next to me on the couch to cuddle while we watched morning cartoons and I thought how lucky I am that my inability to get them on a nighttime schedule, gave me the chance to stop and reflect on how truly blessed I am.