The Most Important Part of my Day
The most important part of my day usually comes at the very end.
It's after I supervise homework and play another game of Go Fish, after I make dinner and clean up the kitchen, after I give the little kids baths and wave the big kids to the showers, after I supervise teeth brushing and story reading and bedtime snuggles for Kieran and Teyla.
It's when the house is dark and quiet (finally!) and I'm so bone-weary, I'm tempted to grab my iPad and fall into a stupor on the couch.
It's then that I go to say good night to my big kids.
At 9 and 12, Connor and Natalie don't need my help to get ready for bed anymore. When I walk to their rooms at night, they are washed, brushed and snuggled under the covers without my assistance.
But they still need me. That's what I need to remember.
Now, more than ever, they need me to ask about their day and to listen to their stories. They need me to ask them about the book they are reading, the comic they just drew, the story that came up at dinner about the new kid in class and "how did that make you feel?"
They need my questions and my laughter and my attention. They need my blessing. They need my hands on their heads as I pray for favor and growth and a heart that hungers for God. They need to know that I love them more with every passing day, that no amount of exhaustion or solo-parenting or stress can stand between them and me.
If they needed to hear it when they were babies, they need to hear it even more now that they are tweens.
So this week, I started to treat 9:30 each night as the pinnacle of my day, instead of the final box I check before I get some time alone.
Because it is.