Lenten Reflection #32 – My Kids’ Bedtime Stories
“How was school?” This is one line we toss to our kids nearly 180 times per year, and it boomerangs back empty or with the classic, “good”.
I’ve learned to manage this empty answer for one reason…
Because after years of the same bedtime routine with our kids, (yelling, brushing teeth, prayers, etc.) somehow when they’ve returned from practicing the sport they love, finished their homework and eaten dinner, they finally settle and are ready to share a story or two.
Here are a few examples:
My youngest son talks about the football game he played in PE when he “dove to catch the ball with one hand, jammed his thumb, and was still able to somehow, “dive into the endzone”. `
My daughter and I banter a bit, and she tells me a funny story about a classmate whose name everyone yells out daily as soon as he steps into the classroom or answers a question. She hollers the name then does a spot-on impersonation of her teacher’s reaction. I compare it to Norm’s fame on the TV series Cheers and we both crack up.
My middle guy describes the angst he feels after he asks his Honors Chemistry teacher a question, returns to his desk and forgets what to do. Thankfully, his hunger to know how to do things supersedes any apprehension to ask again. He follows up with, “Oh, and I ran a 6-minute mile in JROTC today.”
Suddenly the “good” response transforms into stories of their day at school.
I call them our kids’ bedtime stories.
One last thing I crave asking the kids again — and Kathy Radigan from the blog My Dishwasher is Possessed puts it best in her blog post: My Special Mom Talent is Annoying Teenagers:
I miss asking them if they did their homework then asking them again if they did their homework, then asking them one more time if they did their homework.
I know I sometimes only half-listen to all of their answers, and I know the kids miss their routine, sports, and friends, but this won’t last forever. (I know that because Sanjay Gupta on CNN just said so, and he knows).
Take care of yourselves and each other.