“Will you snuggle with me?” she asked.
As a parent of multiple children, I know how important bedtime is to the well-being of the parental structure and to the stability of the entire universe for that matter. Those last moments when you are puffing through on fumes, to finally cross over the finish line to freedom, or some facade that presents itself as such, are so crucial. The day has been a marathon filled with chatter, schedules, refereeing, meals, laundry, more chatter, wiping butts, more meals, and too many ridiculous You Tube videos (like seriously, Go noodle?!). By the end of it all, there is nothing left. So, when this sweet voice requests one more thing, as my finger against the light switch, with one quick flip will declare me victorious, I twinge as the conflict arises in my spirit…
Do I say, “no, not tonight” and watch the disappointment flood her tender face, to get to “me time” sooner? After all, I have served this little human allll day.
Do I comply, and stay, and snuggle up to my baby for the last moments of the day as we whisper silliness to each other, contemplate whether the Easter bunny is an actual bunny or a person dressed in costume (a serious concern for both of us), or get into a theological discussion on the complexities of the Trinity? Maybe we’ll just give each other back massages. Hers will be about 5 minutes, and mine a literal half second. Yes, that was TOTALLY long enough… Thank you.
Let me tell you, I have walked away many times and missed out on those precious moments. In times of pure exhaustion (and maybe a little selfishness), I have said “no, not tonight.” I try to suppress the guilt I feel as I walk away with excuses and justifications to cover my actions. Tonight was not that night.
“I’ll lay with you for a little while.” I whispered.
Every time I say “yes” to the moments that seem inconvenient, and taxing, (remember, I want to be downstairs watching The Voice on Hulu, munching on popcorn, and praying that the Basset Hound-nosed kids don’t smell it!) I am saying “yes” to grace-given opportunities that my children will never forget. Not only that, but I believe these little investments, as small as they may seem, will help mold them into the individuals they will become. The sweet, unscripted, little moments we create together, speak love, assurance, security, and value to these little hearts. Knowing they know they are loved, is always so worth it. I know, it doesn’t make me a bad mom when I don’t rock my kids, or read them a bedtime story, or in this case, snuggle my daughter in her bed, but every time I say “no”, I am forfeiting the moments that could be. I am giving away moments that I’ll never have again. I am missing out on an opportunity to communicate one more time that, “you are worth it.”
I want to be a mother who captures the little moments and doesn’t take them for granted as it’s so easy to do. Yes, I may fail at this daily. Sometimes I don’t even realize it. The saying goes; The days are long, but the minutes are short. I want to make them count.