As I have previously written, putting the kids to bed is not my best work as a mother. I get crabby, short and tired. No one seems to listen, there is bickering, horseplay (did I just write horseplay? How old am I??) and general naughtiness.
Falling into bed is one of the best parts of my day! How can the children not see the pure joy in resting one's head on the pillow and stretching out luxuriously, knowing 10-12 hours of slumber await? It is a true mystery to me.
There are glimpses of beauty, though, in this routine that challenges me. The children who are quick to apologize for their behavior, the sweet kisses good night and the urgent requests to cuddle. And the blessings from my youngest daughter each night.
We give the children a blessing each night, and my little four year old has taken to blessing me every night as well. She makes the sign of the cross on my forehead and says a little prayer that melts my heart each time. It usually starts with "Dear Jesus, Please help Muthuh. . ." and goes on to request some sort of creature comfort for me, or pray for my general safety and happiness. One night she made the sign of the cross on my head and recited the entire Pledge to the Cross as my blessing!
For tonight, Daddy is finishing up, and I am typing in the dark quiet of the living room. I hear sounds from upstairs as the children settle in, Daddy moving from room to room. Soon our house will be still and silent and bedtime chaos forgotten. All's well that ends well, yes?