Most nights, Isaac requests that I lay with him for a while at bedtime. It is usually just a stalling technique, along with:
”I have to go pee!”
”I need a drink of water” or my personal favorite….
“Daddy said I could play with a toy in bed!”
When I do acquiesce and lay down with him, he begins the chitter-chattering of a 3 year old avoiding sleep:
“Mommy what time is it”
“What does 8 o’clock mean?”
“Why is 8 o’clock bedtime”
“Why are all little boys going to sleep right now”
“Well I’m not tired”
You get the point. So, you can imagine my surprise when I laid down with him tonight and he said nothing. Total silence. He rolled over and clutched his stuffed elephant (Ellie is a new fixture on the bedtime scene these days), wrapped himself in his blanket and was quiet. I could tell that tonight, it wasn’t about stalling. Tonight, it was about me being near him. He just wanted someone to lay close to him while he drifted to sleep. It felt heavenly to be needed in this simple way.
Three year old’s have a way of sucking the air out of the room and the energy from your bones with their constant activity and questions. Isaac has mastered the task of pushing my buttons. In less than 10 words he can have me reeling with frustration.
Tonight though, as he snuggled next to me in silence, his stillness communicated a need to my heart that all mom’s have. We want to know that we are important to our children. We want to know we are necessary for more than just putting on the next DVD, unwrapping a piece of gum or retrieving fruit snacks. We want to know that our children sense the bond between mother and child and desire that deep connection.
Tonight, all of the stress of this week was slowly pulled from my mind as Isaac drifted to sleep holding on to Ellie and my heart.