Tuesday, September 4, 2012

That Last 15 Minutes

Bed time. The stalling, the whining, the requests for another book, another song. It can wear you out, especially when you have spent the day catering to your tiny dictator's every whim. As y'all know, Lady Baby moved to a big bed a few months ago. The transition was easy, as far as transitions go. She loves her bed, loves her room, loves feeling like a big girl. Bedtime is fairly quick and painless, only about 15 minutes. But to me, often it is the best 15 minutes of the day.

I love the time after I have turned out the light, and before I leave, when Lady Baby and I are laying on her bed. We read, we cuddle, we chat. I tell her that she is the most beautiful person I know, inside and out. I tell her how smart she is. I remind her how much I love her, more than anyone else or anything else in this world. I tell her she is special. An amazing little girl who will do great things. I sing her songs. She pats my cheek and I rub her back. It is just us. For those precious few minutes, we are the only people in the world. Drifting on our raft of pillows and feathers through the dark. 

It is the only time I have her full attention. My only chance to let her know that she is the most special person ever created. That she can do anything, be anything, and think anything. There is nothing else competing for our attention. No TV. No phone. No computer. No pets, or friends, or horns beeping. Just the two of us in the twilight, curled up and whispering. No one told me about this part of the Big Girl bed. How nice it is to finish out the end of a long day in peaceful love. The last thing she sees before she sleeps is a face that adores her. The last thing she hears is that she is an extraordinary person who can and will do extraordinary things. I kiss her little face and neck and make her giggle and shriek, and then she quietens and hugs me tight. It is a gift that I get to send her into her dreams on sweet words and love.

When she was in her crib we didn't have this time. There is something about being able to cuddle up and talk that makes a difference. It is a superb way to end the day, no matter what kind of day it was. Despite earlier time outs, yelling, angry words, or crying, the end of the day is our time to be still and let it all go. No matter what the day brought, it ends with hugs and pats, and You are My Sunshine, and Itsy Bitsy Spider. Sometimes it is hard to watch our children grow up. But other times, it really is marvelous. This is one of those times.

Shhh, don't wake the Badger. She is dreaming about being
a ballerina, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company,
or the dictator of a small country.


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