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Sleep…. by Ben

I’ve often wondered why it is the children who get all the energy.  Their bodies are little nuclear reactors ready to burst.  Think of all the wonderful things we adults could accomplish if only we had the energy of a child.  We could make the pyramids of Egypt look like sand castles at the beach.  Maybe this abundance of energy is so essential for children to allow them to learn and develop at such a rapid pace.  It must take a lot for their little minds and bodies to soak up the world around them as they experience new things each day, both externally and internally.  Each day brings new opportunities for them to explore their environment as well as their own capabilities and talents.

Bedtime can be one of the most difficult parts of the day.  It comes at a time when we have expended everything we’ve got just to get to that point.  To get through the simple routine bath, pj’s, brush teeth, prayers, and bed is often such a daunting task it’s hard to stop and enjoy the moments.   I find myself just wishing they will quickly give up so I can move on to some personal relaxation time.  Every now and then when the routine is completed, the child is in bed, and all is quiet – time will seem to stand still as I watch the process unfold.  This has happened many a time with Sadie, and now more routinely with Jax.

At first, the wiggles remain as the last little bit of energy in the tank is expelled until nothing is left to drive the body further.  They roll to the left.  Then to the right.  On their backs, then the belly.  Repeat the process.  Left, right, back, belly.  When the last calorie is burned, the body gives up.

Then the mind takes over.  I can often see the wheels churning as the mind reviews the events of the day, analyzes them, categorizes them, and neatly tucks them away for future reference.  New words expressed by Mom are now reviewed and analyzed for context.  A new word is enunciated repeatedly as mouth dances with tongue and teeth until the proper sound is produced with ease.  Reoccurring themes will often be developed.  For Jax lately the phrase is “go golfing.”  At least, it started off with just “go golfing.”  Then it became, “go golfing at golf course.”  Then “go golfing at golf course with Daddy.”  Just tonight it was “go golfing at golf course with Mimi.”  The actions, reactions, and interactions of friends at a playgroup are brought to the forefront of the mind.  Songs that were sung are now sung again… silently, the only outward manifestation being the accompanying actions.  As seeds of creativity continue to blossom, new songs are made-up on the spot, and along with them new actions.  A whole array of feelings are felt – happiness, joy, anger, fear, silliness, feelings of insecurity, feelings of confidence.

Then, once all is properly filed away in the storage bin of the brain…  stillness.  The eyes have no need of blinking.  The eye-lids get heavy.  This is where the fight in the child is tested.  I’m unsure if it’s physical strength or strength of mind that keeps the eyes from closing completely, but the child waits until the last possible moment before giving in to the inevitable.  And inevitably that moment comes when breathe becomes light, eyes close, and body and mind flips the switch to the “off” position.

There is nothing better in life than a sleeping child.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s simply the reward of a long day.  The expense of all energy.  The feeling of completeness.  There is also something reverent, almost sacred, about a sleeping child.  To disturb one would be the utmost sin.  This is when these little angels are in their most angelic state.

There is nothing better in life than a sleeping child.

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  • July 30, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    alicia - Ben, so beautiful. It made me cry. Job well done!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2012 - 2:48 pm

    Joe - Ben has thoughts. Nice.ReplyCancel

  • August 7, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Siri Holman - Your words brought back so many memories of bedtime when our kids were young. What cherished times in our lives. You are quite the writer!ReplyCancel

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