What's Your Bedtime, Moon?

Ah, the beauty that is your own bed. It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything, and I’m ‘blaming’ my bed. Actually, I’m blaming my daughter’s bed, which used to be mine until I got married. You see, for the past two months – approximately the same time as my last post – we have been going through the transition from crib to “big girl” bed with my two year old.

About 7:30 each night, we start the bedtime routine:  ensuring dinner is complete, teeth are brushed, jammies on, stories read, songs sung. And about 9:00 each night, she is actually in bed. I find this amazingly late for a preschooler, but she sleeps through the night, wakes up on time, naps regularly each day and appears quite healthy.

Matter of fact, she would stay up much later if allowed; she is after all only human. Ironically, by the time all of the above is completed, I’m at absolute exhaustion. Most nights, when I  lay down next to her to sing or quiet her down, I end up falling asleep with or even before her. I’ll wake up and putter back to my own “big girl” bed down the hall, where the husband is softly snoring and the new mattress we bought lulls me to back to a slumbering bliss. Before this routine, similar yet changed only by the bed being a crib, she would be fine with my leaving the room. (By fine, I mean pitching a shreaking fit for about five minutes until she fell asleep on her own.)

I would let her cry it out, and spend the next hour or so doing whatever it is Moms do when they have an unadult...  unchild-erated moment. Maybe, veg on the couch with tongue lolling out and a glass of wine in hand; perhaps writing a blog post or two. Often, both.

Now, I’ve found that shimmering hour of sanity is no more. As she is able to scramble out of her bed when I leave, she does. And then the calming routine must start afresh. So I stay and lay next to her each of us hugging the other to sleep. It’s lovely and precious and memorable. I’m thankful that my daughter wants me and only me to share these last moments of the day, each and every day. It won’t always be this way, I know.

Some (many) times I’ve caught myself resenting that lost hour. What about Mama? Doesn’t she get a break? Yes, she does.

It will come at some point in the future when my daughter doesn’t need me for her complete bedtime ensemble. I will softly break when I realize these times have passed never to return. This rare piece of writing was penned at 12:58 a.m. to be precise. I woke up in my own bed with both daughter and husband fast asleep (sometimes she doesn’t want to sleep in her room at all) and could not let the day’s demons go.

My mind was chattering, complaining really about this perceived unjustice and that ridiculous whatever; I was very poor little furious me.

So I left my luscious mattress with enough blessings asleep on it that you think I’d just know better, and came downstairs to exorcise myself. How?

I read some other bloggers’ offerings, both uplifting and refreshing. I was reminded of the things I know, but allow other stuff to steal from my recollection. And then I realized I had a spare moment. That I could participate in the giving back and the offering up by just sharing why I’ve been away. I’ve been being a Mama, and it has eaten into my blogging time. Thank you, Jesus!

I should probably consider creating a new time of day to write and thus post with increased regularity. These evening rituals are too precious to pawn for some quick currency of minutes spent with a laptop over a loved one. But I do need to remind myself, by way of clearing my thoughts on virtual paper, of all my life’s imports. Writing is a blessing that way. So, I’ll work to craft the space. Meanwhile, I’ve got a fresh attitude and am eager to get back to my sleeping beauties.

Goodnight, Moon. Sometimes, your bedtime is too soon.

Stephanie Greene