The Close of the Day

It all happened quite circumstantially. Our almost-2 year old started crawling out of his bed at night and with delirious laughter decided this was the way he wanted to spend all of his evenings… getting Mommy and Daddy to put him back into his bed 20-30 times a night! Finally, one of the exhausted pair had a brilliant idea. It was time to stand guard.

So the evening routine would begin. Tuck all of the children into bed, pull up a chair in front of their rooms, and keep watch lest the littlest one should sneak out unawares. After many nights of listening to music while he fell asleep, folding laundry, or working on my computer at my post, I realized that I could accomplish much in this span of 20 minutes while he fell asleep.

A new year dawned, and I began reading to my children another book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, Prince Caspian. I am currently reading three novels to my children and have another four that just arrived in the mail this past week. I never have quite enough time to get in all the reading I would love to do each day. Solution: the books need to take turns. It was during this new years week and during the transition of a new school schedule that I began a new tradition… reading them to sleep.

I am amazed at how many chapters we can breeze through in that small amount of time. The house is quiet, I have their attention. Every so often, I stop to see if they have fallen asleep and usually I hear, “Read more!” Occasionally, I do not get a response. And that’s when I know that all have peacefully drifted off into dreamland, hopefully with kings and queens, fauns, centaurs, brave little mice, and definitely a lion named Aslan. And if none of these creatures fill their dreams, then at least they have all happily gone to sleep with a story in their hearts, at a reasonable hour and I have fulfilled another shift of standing guard against the wiles of a deliriously exhausted 2 year old, whom I love with all my heart!