14 Ways to Show Your Family "I Love You"
#4 Tuck Your Kids In Bed Every Night
Such a simple suggestion and yet, oh so easy to let go.
I remember when we were expecting our third baby, a sweet blog friend sent me this email...
"And remember, Val, no matter what, tuck each and every one of your kids in bed every night."
How did she know...
...that mother of six!!!...that after the long days and even longer nights...that would be one of the first "rituals" that I let go of the easiest.
I'm not really sure how or when it started. Maybe around her First Grade Year when bedtime showers and independent reading took over? When bedtime schedules no longer started at a leisurely 7 PM, but rather were a race to beat the 9 PM clock because soccer or scouting or ballet ran late? When her father was on-duty again and I still had a kitchen sink full of dirty dinner dishes and a hardwood floor to mop?
Yet, what does she need more than anything in this world...
...more than another nightly prayer devotional book...more than another independent reading book from Barnes & Noble...more than a quick peck on the cheek and a "did you say your prayers tonight?"
...she needs her mother.
And my boys too.
They need me to smooth down their cowlicks and tickle their toes. They need me to check for monsters under the bed and make sure the closet light is on. They need me to pray the Guardian Angel's Prayer with them and review their sight words. They need their nightly reading ritual of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever.
And my girl?
My girl needs conversations about her hopes and fears...about school (friends and academia) and extracurriculars...about new vocabulary and concepts she's learned from books checked out of the library, about God and vocations...about living a life of service to others.
Yes, our days are long and busy, but we must not allow the busyness of life to get in the way of what matters most...authentic engagement with our children in those tender moments before they go to sleep.