It's no great secret that, around bedtime, kids can start to get extra crazy. What I've noticed with myself is that I think I get even crazier. For the kids to actually get into the bedroom for stories and prayers, it seems to take FOREVER, and my composure starts to crack somewhere around minute two of said eternity.
Luckily I've got an amazing wife who's got my back and together we somehow manage to get them into their quarters. Consistently, in the midst of the madness, I begin to yawn, and if I've made the mistake of sitting down while the sleepytime preparation plays out, it feels like I've got sacks of concrete tied to me as I fight against my body's better judgment and get up to go read with the kiddos.
Reading and prayers always happens in bed, now in their room, and I absolutely love it. It is such a joy to end the day with calm, loving interactions, hopefully blotting from their little memories the sound of my yelling. The kids have even gotten into the habit, when they really want me to keep reading (we're re-reading The Hobbit right now, prepping for the second film), of offering a foot massage, and all that practice has made them pretty good. So, as you can imagine, by the time I'm done reading, I'm more ready for bed than they are! I often tell Max to turn off the lamp and I make myself cozy, drifting off to exactly where I should be at around that time, according to 'ol circadian rhythms.
|This is actually in an airport, but you get the gist, I like to sleep.|
But I generally manage to drag myself out of the bed and stagger back to Rebecca. Now, what happens next is absolutely astounding.
Despite my body's consistent call to hit the hay over the past two hours, once I escape the kids' room, I suddenly get a second, nay a third wind! I feel more awake than I have all day, just in time to prevent myself from getting a full night's rest.
Rebecca feels the same and had a fascinating analogy. It's like being in college, in finals week, and you've just finished the last exam or turned in the last project. You're bushed, exhausted, yet more importantly, YOU'RE FREE! You couldn't possibly go to bed at that moment, regardless of how tired you might be. You must enjoy this freedom while you can. And I do, knowing that it will only last a short while, and in the morning, I'll wonder why I stayed up so late, once again.