Last night as I was tucking in my middle child for the sixth time that night I had a strange thought. I know that I can’t be the only one who has had this idea pop on their head before. None the less, please don’t judge me when I tell you what ran through my head as I was sitting on her bed next to her.
As I sat next to my eight-year-old baby girl I had this thought. If I was an abusive parent she would not be comfortable enough with me to know she would be safe to come downstairs to tell me she was scared. I thought how sad that someone could miss out on such a wonderful bonding moment with their child. When we went back up to her bed she laid down and immediately was calm with her eyes closed after I sat down. Like she just needed this moment of connection to be able to calm down and sleep.
Then I had another thought. I was never comfortable coming to my parents at night after we were told to go to bed. I did not think that my parents were caring or compassionate enough to be willing to listen. Of course, I get frustrated with my own daughter at times. After she comes downstairs for the ninth or tenth time I have been known to get angry. I will take a moment, most of the time to calm down and go deal with whatever is the cause of this back and forth. I, as a child, don’t remember the same thing form my parents.
Now as I thought this through I felt a sense of pain. I also felt joy and happiness at the same time. I felt pain for the child I was. The one who I am sure had moments when he was scared at night. Had moments when he could have used some extra comforting and compassion. The little boy who also knew that he would not get that if he did leave his bed. But that only lasted a second or two. After that, if let the joy fill me. The joy of knowing that my child is comfortable knowing she will get that extra compassion, the extra care she might need. I felt lucky that my babies fell so loved and cared for that even if it takes several trips down the stairs that they can count on knowing that I will walk back up to there beds, tuck them in, and be sure they feel safe.
I challenge everyone reading this with children to take a moment the next time they don’t want to go to bed. Stop your frustration and anger. Look at it as a blessing. Your child is feeling so secure in your love that they just need that extra bit of comforting. They just want that extra few moments of connection with you before they feel secure enough to sleep. How blessed are you!