Bedtime at our household can be a busy time.
Each night, my husband and I go through a series of routines to help our three children settle down for the night. There’s dinner, there’s playtime, and of course bath time... where almost all of the water ends up on the floor and someone has inevitably eaten a few ounces of bubble bath.
We read stories (sometimes the same one a few dozen times). We give hugs and kisses (the toddler slobbers on us) and we say our “I love you’s.” All that said, my most favorite moment of all the evening is listening to their bedtime prayers. Our 4-year-old boy/girl twins pretty much melt my heart each night with their innocent, heartfelt words.
I didn’t fully come to appreciate the impact of my words and actions, until I heard my children pray aloud. Not only do their prayers give us the chance see what’s going on inside their growing minds, but I myself experience a teachable moment.
Our 4-year-old son folds his hands, bows his head, and prays about having good behavior at school the next day. “Please help me not to move my clothespin down and help me to be kind and gentle.” He has repeated back some of the very things we stressed to him that morning before we went out the door. Make good choices. Use your manner words. Be a kind friend.
Every night, he prays for these very same things. I know he is hearing us. I know he wants to be a good a boy. He’s also reminding me to be kind and gentle too. My husband and I exchange a smile.
His twin sister whispers, “Please help everyone in our family to sleep good tonight.” Sure enough, she has been listening to me talk to my husband about our 18-month-old going through a sleep regression and my longing for sleep.
Yes my sweet child, Mommy really does appreciate that one! She goes on to tell God how she loves everybody and is thankful for the sunshine we get to enjoy.
After they are finished, my husband and I smile a little brighter. Maybe it’s because everyone is tucked into bed and we can have a few moments to ourselves.
On the other hand, maybe it’s because their prayers just reminded me what I should strive to be (grateful) and that even when we don’t think they are listening to us (for the 100th time), they actually are.