Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time Is Passing - Bedtime Rituals

Dear JJ,

Last night you crawled into our bed, you had a bad dream and we were happy to see you.  I realized that the time will come when you won't come into our bed, that our little boy won't be little anymore.

When you were a little baby I never liked the "cry it out," idea. Reports have come out and say that children who are left in their bed to cry it out and self-soothe do just fine as adults.  But I couldn't do that. I wanted to be there to comfort you, to let you I was there.

That led to me putting you to bed at about 7 pm, usually falling asleep with you, then sneaking out to spend time with your mom. Then sometime about 930 you finding your way to our bed - as you call it "the family bed."

There are downsides - sometimes I think in the middle of the night you dream you are a helicopter as your hands and legs whack your mom and I. Some nights your mom or I go back to your bedroom just to get some sleep.

But, your mom and I realize at some point that won't happen anymore. That you will be just fine in your own bed.  I joke that someday you will tell us, "Mom and dad it is time you get your own room."

That time is coming. But until then, one of the joys of a father is to comfort a little boy who hears noises in the middle of the night.  I won't forget these times, and will miss them.

I still remember my dad coming in to say goodnight to me, laying down and falling asleep in my bed. I would wake him up and he would always say, "Oh, I fell asleep," and off he would go to join mom. I hope you remember the times you got into the family bed - and the comfort there.

It's ok to grow up son. Just don't worry if you see my eyes water from time to time.