Nighttimes are changing around here.
I remember the sleepless nights when I was up multiple times in the night.
I remember nursing Zach and staring out the window at all the city lights and wondering what my boy would be like when he’s older.
I remember having to leverage Josh’s doggies to get him to stay in his room and get back to sleep. He was a feisty fella.
I remember having to train Zandra from getting up twenty times to pee and saying good night thirty five times before going to her bed (stall tactic).
I remember the gazillion tactics we had to use to get Gabe independent on sleeping.
I remember Sam in a crib, taking chocolate milk to bed?!?! What?!? Yeah, that changed on the first night he lived with me. Lol.
Finally, a few years ago we hit a point where we had a solid bed time routine. We read stories together, prayers, did our goodnight rounds and then Rob and I had time to catch up on a bit of the day’s work, AND still and some alone time to debrief, relax, watch some shows, then snuggle. By the time we headed up to bed everyone was long gone into sleepy land.
Slowly though, old routines have become eroded – or at least changed, accommodating new routines. Kids having late practice, kids up doing homework, kids pouring bowls of cereal at late hours, and kids monopolizing the couch and TV that was once mine:(
We still try to force them to bed on school nights at a reasonable time, but that doesn’t mean they sleep.
To set the stage for the next part of my story, I have to describe our home. We live in a tall four story home. The top floor is an open space loft where Zach and Gabe are housed. I remember Rob and I wanting to take that master room when we moved in, but decided it would be better served as a toy room, as well as a room for Zach and Gabe to share. The three other kids each have their own rooms on the third floor, along with our room.
Josh and Sam’s rooms are beside each other and they are pretty much out like lights as soon as their heads hit their pillows. Zandra’s room is closest to the bathroom and the stairs that lead to Zach and Gabe’s room. For the past couple of years now, the three older kids head up to bed and then “do their own thing”. Often it leads to Zach teasing Zandra, hiding in her room, scaring her or some type of practical joke. We are often yelling up to them to go to sleep!!
The other night though, Rob and I were on our main floor, trying to squeeze in 5 minutes of down time before we headed up to bed (since it was already super late). The two younger guys were long asleep. The three older ones had done their practical jokes and were all in their own rooms and their own beds. I’m not sure if they knew we were on the main floor or in the basement (where we often are, as the family room – and laundry room – is there). But they started talking together – all three of them – two floors apart.
I have to say, it was hilarious. They were discussing friends, funny things that happened at school, who likes who, who was wearing what, who said what etc.. Rob and I just lay and listened and tried to stifle our laughs. Our kids come up with some seriously good stuff. (It reminded me of our Lake Powell trip last year where Rob and I camped out with the 7 boys and listened – and even recorded – their hilarious conversation). We didn’t bother yelling up for them to go to sleep, because who really wants to shut down that kind of sibling communication?
Today I was driving and I thought back to their conversation and I chuckled to myself. Then I thought about how one day those hallways would be silent all together. Kids will grow and move out, and we won’t be privy to a glimpse of their sibling world.
I just felt so incredibly blessed that I have these kids to entertain me in the late hours of the night. I am so tired, and I wish they would just get to bed at times! But, I am also loving this phase where they are sharing with each other – and occasionally sharing with us ( if I present with the right kind of night food:)
The days are long, but the years are short…. although I sort of feel like the days are short too at this stage, and I want to soak it all in.