I don’t know what’s worse …. the 45 minutes before school each morning in which we are rushing, scrambling, trying to get out the door (see http://http://storyofmyheart.org/general/some-mornings-you-just-need-more-jesus/)
Thank God it’s summer vacation!
or the 30 minutes or so before bedtime every night.
My children are like wild animals most hours of the day. This evening as Aaron was rushing to eat before heading out the door on a work call and I was washing dishes, my children were popping wheelies and jumping over toys in the floor on their “motorcycle.”
After Aaron left, as I was cleaning I heard Smith say: “Hey, Char, watch this!” followed by the crashing of the motorcycle being thrown down the steps. This happened a few more times before I finally gave up washing dishes and declared “BEDTIME!!!”
Well, just like the mouse who was given a cookie, then the boys had to wash their hands and then they had to brush their teeth (and isn’t it awful that I am trying to rush hygiene – I just want a little peace and quiet!!)
And then they had to potty one last time, and in Smith’s case one more time and then one more time.
Charlie just pees in his pull-up.
Our routine is to gather on Charlie’s bed with Chili Dog, the miniature dachshund, and say our prayers.
Lately I have been asking each of the boys what they want to thank Jesus for today and, at 6 and 3, it is usually material things like legos or skylanders.
But this evening Smith did say that he wanted to thank Jesus that he got to go fishing with his daddy. Charlie was too hyped up to focus on anything.
So at bedtime, when I want to say prayers with my boys, when I want to spend quiet time with them talking to Jesus, Smith is climbing up on the end of Charlie’s bed and leaping off and Charlie is asking to hang upside down. I try to get them to calm down and be still and quiet so that we can say prayers and Smith says “But Mama, we’re having fun!”
The words “prayers aren’t fun!” almost escaped my lips before I caught myself.
Now, I am not a stick in the mud. I actually think that I am quite fun. But, short of beating my boys at prayer time I do want them to show Jesus the respect that He deserves. I think about how Jesus would interact with my boys, how He would want them to approach Him and I know that he would want my boys just as they are, in all their wild and crazy ways.
Some nights I get so frustrated I forgo prayers altogether. Instead of mentoring and disciplining my boys and being an example to them of what it means to pray to Jesus, instead I let frustration get the better of me and it’s “Alright, no prayers! Go to Bed!!”
That certainly isn’t what Jesus would want from any of us.
So, I am working on a consistent bedtime routine with my boys. I am working on how to show my boys what it means to follow Jesus.
Some days I may fail.
But, in the words of Scarlet O’Hara: “Tomorrow is another day.”