Photo credit: Kristin Eldridge
I had one of those mom fail parenting moments the other night that made me feel awful. But I have to think it is these sorts of moments that teach us as parents. Or, maybe that is just making me feel better.
Let me explain the scenario.
By the time bedtime for my girls rolls around I DONE.
Mom’s not playing around. I want to keep the bedtime train moving with end destination being SLEEP for both girls, which means one hour of time to myself to finally get a chance to talk alone with my hubby or collapse on the couch with a book or show.
However, come bedtime they often get this second wind of energy and silliness, which actually makes me more grumpy, because again, I am not in the mood for silly, I am DONE.
Now, our bedtime routine is such that I put Morgan (5yrs) down first, alone. I read to her and then we do our prayer/snuggle and kiss good-night.
While I am putting Morgan down, Emma (8yrs), is supposed to be brushing her teeth or basically doing any of the steps she knows are needed to keep HER bedtime train moving and then is supposed to get into bed and read until I come in to put her down, alone.
Yet instead of driving the bedtime readiness train, she often departs to do head stands or bed frame gymnastics routines. Or, she will remember something VERY important that she forgot to tell me or Morgan, and will bust into Morgan’s room to interrupt our book time, de-railing our train and extending the process.
Lately Emma has been adding another stop on the bedtime train for Morgan, with a special “good night kiss” when I leave Morgan’s room.
I have asked her many times to please say good-night BEFORE Morgan goes down and before books commence but that is not flying. She now has to come in after our routine is over, jumps up into Morgan’s bed to kiss her, hug her and say “good night.” Again, from my point of view, just another antic to extend bedtime.
Emma plants so many kisses on Morgan’s head, they often end up laughing and giggling and again, grumpy mom is there to say, “Come on Emma! Morgan needs to go to sleep and you need to get ready! That’s enough. Time for bed.”
Here comes the lesson.
Last night Morgan’s Kindergarten teacher emailed me with the title, “Sister Love”, and shared with me the class was talking about “love” and the people that love them and Morgan shared with zero hesitation, “Emma because she hugs and kisses me before I go to bed.”
She wanted to share with me because it made her heart melt.
It made MY heart melt too, made me tear up it was so sweet. But then I realized how selfish I have been trying to cut this moment out, to what, save 1 minute?!
I was looking at it as an extension of the the process, not wanting Morgan to get “riled up” and really just wanting Emma to be reading.
But what I failed to see was the beauty in the gesture of what Emma was doing, and what it meant to Morgan.
Emma will be allowed to go in, kiss, hug and say good-night to her sister without a grumpy mom standing in the doorway. It’s okay to sometimes get off the train. Or, mom can adjust the timing to get to bed a little earlier. But, moments like this are to be treasured.