And we love every second of it.
Part of the ritual involves storytime. Often, we read their favorite books, or we tell them stories (their favorites are the ones about Mom and Dad when we were younger), or we simply let the older sibs read to the younger ones. This often leads to deep discussions about life, the universe, and everything.
All too often, I'm stopped in my tracks by what our kids share with us as they drift off to sleep.
To wit, Noah, 4, sighed very loudly the other night after the two of us had finished a long conversation about what my bedtime was like when I was 4. He very seriously looked at me as he clutched his beloved blanket, scrunched himself under his comforter and adjusted his pillow just so. Then, he let me have it:
"Daddy, I hope I never die. I always want to be a kid."For what seemed like the millionth time since my wife and I became parents, I had no words. He's been bringing up death and dying more so than usual in recent weeks, and I've struggled with how to respond to it truthfully without letting too much of life's cold realities into his world.
I looked at him, all small and curious and looking right back at me for an answer, and I just couldn't string together the right answer (some writer I am.) All I could think of was how badly I wished for his wish to come true, and how sad I was that it wouldn't.
So I held onto that fleeting moment - and to him - tightly in the hope that the memory would carry me long after the moment had passed. He didn't see the tears in my eyes as I did so.