nightly tuck-in

February 18, 2012

one of the most special parts of my day is getting to tuck my girl in to bed each night.

i’ve had the blessing and gift of tucking her in each night for her entire life … it continues to be an integral part of every day and one she requests every night.

our traditions have changed over the years … we used to really cuddle! i mean, legs and arms together like noodles, all cuddles and giggles and kisses and hugs. this would be at the end of our story time, and she’d “talk me in” to staying “just for a minute to cuddle.” we’d smile, knowing that mama would often end up falling asleep in said position, only to wake later all groggy and wondering what happened to the past hour!

these days, our tucking in routine involves saying together some memory verses we’ve put above her bed (dealing with fear as that issue arose lately, plus verses about love). she’s got them all memorized by now! i ask her how i can pray for her … she shares her heart about her day (sometimes at length, sometimes briefly), i pray for her and give kisses.

i am seeing her growing up in her distance from wanting as much physical touch but i know that she most definitely still loves some touch! (don’t we all?). another of our traditions involves me “drawing” on her back; i pick some object or thing that we may have saw or done that day, then i sketch it … on her bare back … and she guesses what i drew.  really, this is just a tickle rub … and she still asks for it every once in a while. 🙂 even if i don’t “draw” something, i’ll usually rub her back, tickle her arms, stroke her hair.

for a few years, our nightly routine involved reading devotionals (aka, “devo’s”) and that was really special. however, she’s really outgrown the devo book we had and recently requested that we do them again at bedtime, so i’ve found some that look like a really good fit for her age (and her birthday is coming up, so guess what she’ll be getting? shh. ;))

this is a gift … this fleeting, precious time with my girl. and she is growing so fast.

i think of the many nights that i had this internal push to hurry through this tucking in, to move on to the next thing. but what next thing is more important? returning an email, reading a book, finishing a chore?!

i am now intentional about savoring these moments … not hurrying through. i honor her need for space but also gladly walk through the door of any cuddling i can get!

we joke about the time, many years ago, that she promised me that she will “still sit on my lap when she’s 15.” i think it was one of those times when she seemed so small, after a bath perhaps and i was bundling her in a towel, cuddling her up on me (she was probably 6 or 7) and it seemed so far off, her being a 15 yr old. now, it’s just a few years away. and she scoffs at the idea of sitting on my lap anymore!

she is growing up but in many ways, has such sweet innocence. she still sleeps with stuffed animals, and when she got a new one recently, i came in to find her “introducing” her new friend to the others. so sweet! she is on this cusp … precious innocence and growing so quickly. i long to soak deeply in each moment, to keep my eyes and heart open and to guard against the tendency i have to hurry on to the next thing.



4 Responses to “nightly tuck-in”

  1. I think this may be my favorite post of all! What a vivid and sweet description of your time with your girl!

    I found myself having similar thoughts about my times with Regan as a small boy….I can’t tell you how many times I somehow fell asleep in a car shaped toddler bed after the 25th (ish) goodnight song. So precious are those days. Now my boy is 15 & the only time he sits on my lap is to be silly….but he still kisses me goodnight each night before bed.

    I love the gentle reminder to SOAK in each day, each memory, because he will be grown before I know it.

    Such a great post my friend! It touched my heart. I sure miss Maddie…and each time I see her I am struck by her blossoming beauty (both inside & out)! You and Mike are great parents!



  2. Leaves Heal Says:

    Oh, sweetness… it is real wealth to understand what we have, here-and-now.

  3. I had to sneak on here and comment to this 🙂
    My sister and I always had nightly tuck-in’s with my Mom. In fact, that’s where we told her everything. Our heart to hearts and deepest conversations were right there, as she tucked us into bed.
    Sometimes this would last for hours.
    And we did this until I began dating Trev and it got serious, and then he’d say his goodnights after we prayed.
    And for my sister, she did this until she moved out the day of her wedding.

    It was a precious, precious time that I will treasure forever and it doesn’t have to end at any age…we were 18 🙂

  4. […] other night, i was tucking maddie in and it was one of those nights when the door of soul-sharing was open … i could tell she […]

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