Last night I was helping *I* fall asleep. This involves helping him stay in bed. I lie next to him with my arm around him, tightly enough that he can't get up but loosely enough that he can roll around and get comfortable. If I sit on the floor next to the bed, it looks (and feels) more like I'm tending goal, trying to keep him in the bed.
He lies staring at the top bunk, listening to the occupant turn pages in his book, get in and out of bed ("I have to go to the bathroom."), rustle papers because he's doing Origami ("Stop with the paper," I whisper forcefully.)
*I's* eyes are wide open. I'm not sure he even blinks. I try to be patient and use the time to think, pray, meditate...not get annoyed at how long it's taking him to fall asleep. I remember that this is only a season in his life, that eventually he won't want me snuggling him to sleep.
Last night I thought of a phrase in the book Real Moms...Real Jesus by Jill savage founder of Hearts at Home. "Ministry of Availability" is ministering to the people right in front of you; spouse, children, friends, the person in the checkout line....I was in ministry last night to my children.
It was helpful to remember that when *C* opened the door (providing much excitement to *I* who popped up to see who was joining the party.) I had heard him go downstairs looking for the Husband but he was out picking up *J*. *C* asked, "Mom, what's sex?" (In my head I'm screaming, "WHAT!!!!") Me: "What do you mean?" C: "Like in Humpback whales mating." Me: "That's how they have babies." C: "OK." (In case you're wondering, he was watching "Life" on The Discovery Channel.) I'm glad I was available and could answer his question in a way that both of us were comfortable with. (Mostly ;) )
It was also helpful to remember this as *I's* eyelids got heavy and I was starting to plan my departure. (TV remote and dessert here I come!) The top bunk occupant dropped his book on the floor. THUD. *I's* eyes fly wide open. I grind my teeth because speaking to the offender will only make more noise...instead my laser beam eyes are burning holes right through the offender's pillow. ;)
Five minutes later, *I* is sound asleep. I get up, wave and blow a kiss to top bunk man. I am off duty but should the need arise, I will be available...bad dreams or round 1,364 of the stomach flu (it's been a rough season) I'll be there. And I'm OK with that.