I've just decided I should go back to school. My man is sitting on the couch reading 72 pages of Introduction to the New Testament and writing a short essay on what he's learning, while I...I try to maintain a facade of patience with a 5 year-old who won't go to sleep!
First, she came down the hallway: "My boo-boo's bleeding." She gets a band-aid, sits on the ottoman for a good minute putting it on, spends another solid minute carefully wrapping up all the pieces of trash into one little ball, another minute explaining how she accidentally scratched her boo-boo, another asking daddy what he's doing (homework), and another minute or two throwing the trash away, securing a promise from me to come and check on her in a minute, and sauntering back down the hallway.
I peek in to check on her.
My three-year old is sleeping soundly. My big girl? No. She sits up and tells me she has had a bad dream. I tell her she has not had a bad dream because she hasn't even been asleep yet! She tells me she is having bad thoughts and her eyes are playing tricks on her because it looks like something is glowing in her sister's pajama drawer. I tell her, yes, her eyes are playing tricks on her and that is why her eyes should be CLOSED.
I patiently explain that she has to tell her bad thoughts to STOP--I demonstrate a hand motion (palm forward like a police officer directing traffic)--sit down, and shut up. We don't say shut up in our house, so this gets a good giggle from my girl. I then tell her that after she tells the bad thoughts to stop, sit down, and shut up, she then needs to pray and ask Jesus to help her think about whatever is "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8). She says she doesn't know what those things mean. We have talked about this verse at least a hundred times, but I simplify it: "Just think about lovely things, like your family, friends, things you and your sister do together that make you happy, or places you like to go." We pray and after a few clingy hugs and another extracted promise to come back and check on her, I leave again.
I get backpacks ready, pack a lunch, fill out a school spirit tee-shirt order form, write a check, wrap up several loaves of bread that have been cooling, and peek back in her bedroom. She sits up,furrows her brow, stretches her arms towards me, and wiggles her fingers. I walk over, kneel down, and she tells me she tried what I said and it worked a little bit, but "something is glowing over there." I assure her nothing is glowing, but she continues to tell me that things look different. "And that is why you should have your eyes CLOSED!" I whisper once again. We hug and whisper for a few more minutes, until baby girl starts to stir.
I stand up, tell my big girl she has got to close her eyes and go to sleep, and start to walk out, but she grabs onto my legs and starts to make herself cry. At this point I am screaming internally, in a slightly demonic voice, "JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND GO TO SLEEP!!!!" But a soothing momma voice that can't possibly be mine says, "Lay down and close your eyes," and I rub her back. She asks me once again to come back and check on her, to which I reply, "I'm not going to keep coming to check on you because you sit up and get all woken up again."
"One more big hug?" she asks. We hug and she pushes a little more, "I promise if you come back, I won't get up. Will you come back and check on me?" I agree, walk down the hall, sit on the couch, and decide that maybe I should go back to school.
I'm really laughing. It's been a great weekend and a good night. I love my family and am so very, very glad I get to stay home. My baby girl starts preschool tomorrow. And I'm wondering if I'll hold it together as I watch Ms. Jan come and pull my last little one out of the Jeep and away from me. It may only be for three hours, but I know it's just one more step in the breaking away. Healthy as it is, it's still hard. I love being with my family as much as I can be, and I have no desire to work or go to school or do really anything that requires me to be away from them for too long. I really only tell this story, not to complain, but because the disparity of my thoughts and my actions became quite comical as I relayed the events to my man. And I'm figuring there's a momma or two out there that can oh, so very much relate to the insanity of the bedtime routine. This one goes out to you, whoever you are.
Attitude of Gratitude:
#249. My brother's healing (more about that later, so very much to say, so very hard to say it)
250. God's indescribable peace; it really can't be described, or even understood, until you need it and He gives it
251. A great weekend with my little family.
252. Meals from generous and compassionate friends
253. A clean house and completed laundry
254. Family Movie Night (Planes is really cute!)
255. A slow and still somewhat productive Saturday
258. Good conversation with other mommas at a birthday party
259. Seeing my big girl in her element, with all her old preschool friends
260. Time on the golf course with my man and my girls
261. Finally getting settled into the new routine of a new group of kids and new co-teachers
262. Lunch with friends
263. A lazy Sunday afternoon
264. Floor time with my girls
265. Couch time with my man
266. A good book, The Insanity of God