I love the time my wife Kate and I get to spend with our son every night. . . We have a routine that we religiously run through to wind him down and get him off to sleep. The bath usually starts the night off. . . Once he’s in the tub, Kate and/or I will hang out on the floor or the toilet (with the seat down😉) and listen to his imagination run wild with story after crazy creative story.
We play made up games with ridiculous rules that we have to follow, like “guessing” the foam numbers or letters that he puts up on the tile wall – ones that we can plainly see. . . we have to look away and give our best guess until we usually get it right around the third or fourth try.
Eventually, after more stories and games it’s time to wash him and scoop him out… Then we brush his teeth with his special Ninja Turtle toothbrush & toothpaste while telling him stories of how Michelangelo and the rest of the heroes-in-a-half-shell defeated the evil Shredder who was wreaking havoc on his teeth.
Next up it’s on to the bedroom where the wrestling begins to get his clothes on because all he wants to do is dance, climb on our backs, and run to the toy room to get one more toy to bring to bed with him. . . We’ll read a few books together and, like all kids, he’s always wanting just one more. Now comes the time for him to lie down.
The lights go off. . . and Kate and I each bust out our freestyle story telling skills, making up stories about anything from dancing Hippos trying to find their favorite ice cream to Rocky the Crocodile who just wants to learn how to surf. . . we pray together. .. .we sing a few songs to him . . . And then we get to my favorite part. And not just my favorite part of the night. . . but my favorite part of my whole day! . . .when I get to just lie down next to my son and whisper truths into his ears. .
To say things to him like “you are strong” , ” you are gentle” , ” you are my son” , “your mommy and daddy love you” and “I really like you”. In a world where children, and really, most people are told so many negative and untrue messages about themselves, it’s a sweet opportunity to whisper truth into his ears to replace all of the lies of the day.
I love knowing that the last things he hears as he falls asleep – the things that he will think and dream about – will be the things that I whisper to him.. . The truths of who he is and who he can become. . .and a reminder that he is valued and loved!