These Bedtimes are Numbered

I feel like I haven’t exhaled in four and a half hours.

There was a lot of good today, but the last couple hours? When the kids complain about dinner, and the kitchen is an unholy mess, and the baby is fussy, and the toddler pees his pants, and “couldn’t you just listen and not talk back for once!” echoes accusingly in my conscience.  And did I mention Carl was away for the week?

But, we soldier on – somehow we get through it, the dishes, the fuss, the fight into pajamas, the tooth brushing, the Bible stories, the lights out – but I’m so tired that I send my dilly-dallying button-pushers  to bed without a kiss. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t yell or threaten, but my patience was wearing thin and the chinks in my armor were starting to show – so quick! Bring this to an end before she blows!

God forbid that they go to bed one minute late.

Breathe, Sara. Just breathe for a minute. Breathe in some grace, breathe out some thanks.

It’s been 20 minutes since I came downstairs, and there hasn’t been a peep since – maybe I wasn’t the only one who was tired.

And then, Ann Voskamp in my inbox:

When you realize that what you have, you will lose —  you win real eyes. You win grateful joy. …It’s only when you realize everyone you love will one day leave you— that you really begin to love.

These long and exhausting days will come to an end, and they won’t want me to kiss their sore finger, and they won’t want to cuddle up and read one more story, and they probably won’t just look at me funny and blurt out “I love you mom”. When that day comes will I wish I had kissed their finger instead of just saying “oh, you’ll be alright”? And will I wish I had read just one more Bible story and kissed them silly, even if bedtime was a little late?

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Ps 90:12

That’s my prayer tonight, as I sneak up the stairs, tuck them in a little more carefully, and kiss them each good night. Thank you Jesus for the gift of these precious ones, but also that I am not facing an eternity of bedtimes like tonight – for it is only in their finiteness that I can appreciate them.

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2 thoughts on “These Bedtimes are Numbered

  1. Yes! Thank goodness for finite moments… the ‘this-to-shall-pass’ types of days. I believe, when we are able to move around in eternity (because, you know it’s not linear) we’ll be able to go back to the moments that were wonderful (like the kissing little fingers moments) and visit there for a little while. Makes me not get all panicky about my children growing up… and more gracious with myself when I can’t face one more minute of bed time:)
    Enjoy you few moments of peace and quiet, Friend. DON’T DO THE DISHES… leave them for tomorrow.

    • That is a beautiful thought Natalie…though i definitely would not want to go back and re-visit potty training. As for the dishes, the next night I left them until they were in bed, at least – but I have to be really sick to leave them – i cannot wake up to a dirty kitchen.

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