One of my favorite duties as a father is putting my children to bed especially my three year old. This wasn’t always the case actually when I first started I hated it. I would end up falling asleep and waking up without much time before I had to go to bed. This would become a source of tension as I would sometimes angrily order my three year old to go to sleep, which she would then respond by hopping on the bed.
This feeling of frustration would go on for a little while until I came to a realization that the time I had with them was fleeting. That the few times I’m able to slow down and be present with them is usually when I’m putting them to sleep. So for my one year old I’ll sing to her and that seems to help. My six year old just needs me to be in the room but really she could fall asleep without me but my three year old needs me close to her when I’m in the room. Now I don’t think she can’t go to sleep without me. She probably can and has but there is a part of me that can’t let go of those few moments I have with her snuggling under my arm.
It’s those types of moments that bring to center what’s important in my life. Why life is worth living.