My kids have always known a bed-time story. It started when they were infants. We were taught the importance of having a bed-time routine by the "experts". So we started a routine of bath, bottle, and bedtime story with Megan when she was born, and then did the same when Brendan came into our lives. It was a nice, soothing ritual that helped us wind down and ready our sweet babes for slumber.
Fast forward 11 years and we're STILL doing the bedtime routine (minus the bottle!). The kids still want us to read them a bed-time story each night. Sometimes Dan and I wonder if they are too old. After all, not many other parents we know still read a bed-time story to their 9- and 11-year olds. And quite honestly, in the hustle bustle of this crazy life with too many activities to cram into a 24- hour window, sometimes it would be simpler if they could just go to bed without one. But they still ask for one, and we still oblige. I joke with Megan that I'll have to come to college with her to read her a bed-time story in her dorm room someday.
Joking aside, I secretly love this ritual that continues. It's the one time in our crazy, busy lives where we slow down and completely focus on them. The snuggles and giggles it affords are too sweet to let go of.
I once wrote that I pictured God as a motherly figure standing on the side of the playground watching over us as we perilously take on the "monkey bars" of life. So maybe somehow this bedtime story ritual also helps reconnect me to the mother God watching over me; the mother God that I think is in each one of us.
So even on nights when I am exhausted, weary, fighting to keep my eyes open, I give thanks for the opportunity to snuggle, giggle, and share a sweet story with my children.
Thank you God, for the simple joys in life.
(Wendy has been a member of Saint Andrew for over 10 years. When not busy being a mother, wife, and career counselor, she can be found tinkering in her art studio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)