Sometimes, the bedtime routine stands on my last nerve and plays hopscotch on it.
I mean, I’ve been Mom-ming all day. I’ve played and fixed and hugged and laughed and listened and now it’s 9:00 and I’m so done.
But I’m not.
“Buddy, focus. Are you supposed to be playing Legos or brushing your teeth?” “Natalie, it’s time to stop reading and turn off the light, honey.” “Teyla. Pick out a book so I can read.” “Here, let me nurse Kieran one more time before he falls asleep.” “Teyla. Really. Pick out a book.” “Connor, how is it that your teeth aren’t brushed?”
I’m edgy. Exhaustion and impatience seep out my cracks.
Finally, lights are out, teeth are brushed, milk-drunk babies are handed to Daddy and I’m ready to lay in Teyla’s bed and read her books, a privilege granted only to toddlers. So we read about a “Good Day” and a squirrel named “Miss Suzie” and about a hero come to rescue us.
And Teyla carefully tucks her doll under her quilt and curls next to my arm. And I inhale her still-wet curls and I hear only the crickets and the scuffing of sheets and the pure sweetness of a two-year-old singing to herself.
“Yes, Jesus wuvs me. For He is strong.”
The exhaustion still lingers. But that last nerve is no longer tingling.
Because sometimes, the bedtime routine grabs my heart and reminds me that this is the best job in the world.