Friday, October 15, 2010

A Good Night

Our going-to-bed ritual began like many often do (particularly on nights when Jeff is working): Aidan and Leo chased each other around their bedroom and into the hallway, laughing loudly, being rambunctious and mischievous and playful and happy. Although I much prefer this to the meaner, taunting chases that sometimes ensue, none of this behavior is appropriate nor respectful to the little brother who just wants to go to sleep in peace. Evenings like this can be exhausting and leave me feeling weary. I feel so... outnumbered. I just want this to be a good night, I thought to myself as I read Pax his stories...

I sighed heavily, went back outside Pax's room, and tried one more time to coax Aidan and Leo into converting their energy into something that more closely resembled "getting ready for sleep." I made my request, closed the door before a protest or argument could errupt, and retreated back into the room to nurse their tired and puny brother...

I savor the moments I spend nursing Pax. Nursing has always been one of my most favorite parts of the day. I get to put my tired feet up, rock back and forth in our comfy, well-worn glider, and watch my child be nourished by my milk and my love. I smooth his fine hair, stroke his plump cheek, and marvel at the sheer beauty of this child. Nursing my babes are among my most private and cherished times with each of them, and now, more than ever, I cling to these moments. While I don't have plans to wean him any time soon, I know that this is not forever.

Because of my attention of being "in the moment" with Pax, I was somewhat startled to realize, on my quiet exit from his room, that all was calm. At that moment, I heard Aidan's voice -
..."We need a goodnight kiss," said the little dragons. And they lifted their scaly little cheeks. "This is going too far," said the Good Knight.
But he was a good knight.
So he bent and kissed each scaly little cheek....

Quietly, ever so quietly, I opened the door to the room to discover the two of them perched side by side on Leo's bed, heads bent low over the book that Aidan was reading aloud. Aidan was reading fluently, easily, and with great prosody (prosody = fancy word for "with great expression") to his younger brother, both of them deeply engrossed in the endearing story, Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas. As I remained undetected in the doorway, Aidan finished the story and they both lingered over the last picture in the book. Finally Aidan asked, "Now Leo, would you like me to read you another?"

These are the "paybacks." These are the moments I relish and savor. These are the times I collect and store and invest and commit to my long-term memory, because tonight was a Good Night. Oh how I love my Good Knights.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Anne, This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. Again your writing amazes me...so many emotions came through so strongly in this. That's what good writing is...and that's what good parenting is.

Loved reading this!!
Gretchen