One of my favourite times of the day is the boys' bedtime. Not just for the obvious reasons (oh-thank-God-they're-finally-asleep-the-house-is-quiet-maybe-I-can-sit-down-for-five-bloody-minutes) but because bedtime is when we have our little talks.
Our bedtime routine is pretty standard. We do something as a family before bed - Monopoly, Scrabble, cards - on nights we don't have sports. Then it's bedtime snack, feed the fish, showers and baths, brush teeth, jammies on, bedtime story, hugs and kisses and tucking in the older boys. They are allowed quiet reading time in bed while I go put Baby down - he nurses or snuggles to sleep, so how long that takes varies from night to night - and once he's asleep I tiptoe back into their room for bedtime talks and snuggles.
I curl up on the bed with each of the boys for five or ten minutes and they snuggle in. I try not to give any direction to these little bedtime talks. We talk about whatever they want - whatever's going on in their heads. Sometimes it's a game they played at recess or a toy they and their classmates are currently obsessing over. Sometimes it's something they're looking forward to - a birthday, a holiday, a playdate with a friend, a family outing. Sometimes it's about something that happened to them or that they've been thinking about all day, trying to work out and understand the world around them from their own unique perspectives. Sometimes it's something they've been worrying or wondering about, and these quiet little one-on-one bedtime talks are when they feel comfortable enough to ask. And sometimes it's nothing more than a silly story they've imagined that they want to share.
I love these moments with my boys. I love learning about what goes on in their heads and I love sharing in their lives as they grow and learn and become their own people. I'm so glad my boys trust me enough to want to share everything with me, and I hope that little traditions like these bedtime talks will help keep our relationship open and strong enough that when they're older and less inclined to snuggle up and share secrets with Mommy they'll still be able to talk to me about the big stuff.
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