I absolutely love tucking my kids in bed every night. Since the boys were born we always had a bedtime routine, and although it has changed over the years, I thoroughly enjoy it. Now that the boys are older we do things a little differently. After all the hygiene tasks are done we take turns praying together as a family. Praying out loud can really be a glimpse into the mind of someone, assuming it’s not repetitious and always the same. Sometimes we can get into a habit of praying for the same things in exactly the same way. Other times we may be very general and vague when we pray. I think it’s important to pray for specific things and people, and to adjust our prayers to our lives and our daily needs. If I had a really hard time with patience one day, for example, then that is something that I can address in my prayer that night. You get the idea. Anyway, I love hearing what my boys pray for. Sometimes, oftentimes, they pray for silly things or they repeat things my husband or I have said. However, the greatest thing is when they pray for something straight from the heart because it’s something that is on their mind. The honesty and purity of a child is completely evident when they pray. One of the most precious things that my kids regularly pray for is this: “Help Mom and Dad to be good parents and help us to be good boys.” I want my children to pray for me. I need them to pray for me just like they need me to pray for them. It may seem like a silly notion to have a 4 year old praying for my ability to parent, but then again, who better to pray for that then my own children.
Another thing I love about bedtime is laying in bed and talking one-on-one with my kids. Sometimes we talk about what we are going to do tomorrow, or we discuss how their day went, but often we talk about really deep things. We talk about God, relationships, and things that they are curious about. I usually get asked lots of questions. It’s like tucking in The Riddler some nights, but I still love it. My kids are just trying to make sense of and understand the world we live in. As a matter of fact, so am I. I don’t always know how to answer their questions, but even if I don’t, it almost always leads to an interesting discussion. Bedtime seems to be the one time that my boys are really focused, and of course since they are trying to stall their bedtime for as long as possible, they are more motivated to converse. Regardless of their motives, I cherish those moments lying in bed with them and looking at their sweet little faces with only the soft glow of the nightlight. As they grow and mature, and the subjects of our nightly talks change, I am reminded of how quickly time passes and how precious life is.