We’re still waiting here for my first granddaughter to arrive. She’s fashionably late – and being late made me think, which made me nostalgic. My boys don’t ask me to sing to them anymore – but they still want me to come into their rooms at bedtime, ask questions about their day and listen – an evolution of The Magical Sleepytime Hour – where I learn about lunch, each teacher, the bully in the bathroom or the trading of a Powerade for a rib sandwich, Big and little things, Little and big.
“Try counting sheep,” I suggested. He and his brother giggled all over their beds while counting sheep, eyes wide open. “With your eyes closed.” Mass giggles again. I turned off the light.
“I can’t go to sleep,” the littlest one said again, his voice carrying down the hallway.
“Close your eyes. Sleep will come,” I answered.
“Not working,” he peeped up about 2 seconds later.
“You have to keep your eyes closed for about 20 minutes,” I countered, sighing, amused – knowing that when the littlest one out grew sleepytime antics there was not going to be anyone following up from behind to take his place.
Have you ever tried to reason with a little guy? Any aged little guy? You cannot persuade them to admit their eyes are not burning. “Not possible,” is how my little guy would explain it.
I walked down the hallway into their room. “Do you need me to snuggle with you?”
“Me, too, mom,” the older one eagerly invited.
I gave the older one, after a big hug, the following instructions, “Close your eyes. Imagine all the different ways you can score a soccer ball.” He settled in.
I climbed into bed with the littlest one of them all. “Do you need me to snuggle with you?” I asked, expecting a sassy negative.
“Yes,” he said, immediately making room, snuggling up against. It kind of reminded me of Theodore in The Chipmunks. It also reminded me of how wonderful it is to be simply needed.
I started singing. We had not had bedtime snuggly sings in a long time. Singing to a “Demand Performance Crowd” is the only way to do it! They think my voice is wonderful – or most likely, they like my songs the best. There are a lot of Blue Cotton Originals – but they don’t induce sleep. They needed to go to sleep. It was a school night.
We Started out with Veggie Tales: “Know that where ever you are, it is never too far. Just think of me and I’ll be with you.”
I then moved to “This old man” with more a jazzy melody than what I grew up with. It turned into a duet.
I then launched into “Ten in The Bed.” It is one my father-in-law used to sing to my oldest son. We found the book, which has such great pictures that we launched freed us to use our own names. All the brothers fell out of bed last night, all their best friends fell out while getting a lesson in the various ways falling out sounds, “Dink, Splash, Crash, Skuttlebump, Kerthump” with great sound effects, too.
The boys were back to laughing uproariously.
I started singing “Holy and Anointed One” by John Barnett
Risen and exalted One,
Your name is like
honey on my lips,
Your Spirit like
water to my soul,
Your word is a lamp
unto my feet,
Jesus I love
You, I love you”
A Demand Performance – you bet! I’ll be there every time!
Sadly, sleepytime ears are more discerning than wake up ears. The next morning, before 7 a.m., all the boys were bundled in the car. Snow was falling. The sun was not awake yet. We were going to feed Papaw’s cows. While my older son got out to go feed, I belted away, “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow” to much moaning, complaining, and demands to “Stop! Stop! Stop!”
I didn’t – because I know that deep down inside, they really wanted me to keep on singing!