It was time to put my three year old daughter to bed. She likes to have someone lie down with her as she goes to sleep. She and I say it’s our time to snuggle together. She doesn’t like to go to sleep right away though, unless she is extremely tired. Many times she likes for you to tell her a story or two or three or . . . . Other times she just wants to chat for a bit. And you never know where the conversation is going to go!
You need to understand that to be a three year old, she has quite a vivid imagination and a rather developed vocabulary and memory. She can talk about dissonant things; such as lions, ice cream, and her pink sock all in one, fluid stream of consciousness. And all that without so much as taking a single breath!
On this night, she wanted to chat a bit before giving in to sleep. She chitchatted for a bit, then got quiet. I could tell she was thinking up something to say next. She got still and then brought up a part of a conversation we had had a few weeks before. It was about Ferris wheels.
I don’t like Ferris wheels, she informed me.
You don’t, I replied.
No, I don’t like Ferris wheels, she repeated.
Well, why not, I inquired?
Well, because they go high. They go high like swings and it scares me. I get really scared.
Oh, I see, that’s okay.
Yeah, I don’t like to go high. I don’t like being scared. I don’t like Ferris wheels.
I was about to probe a little further into this Ferris wheel and heights thing, when she suddenly addressed another subject. Again, no segue, no alert, no heads-up. No, just straight into the next thing on her mind. So, we moved from Ferris wheels to tattoos. Specifically, her tattoo. The one on her stomach.
No, I don’t mean a real tattoo (we’re better parents than that!), but a stick on tattoo. I think it was a tattoo of a princess or something like that.
I like my tattoo. It is on my belly and it matches my shirt (she was speaking of her pajama dress, it was purple and so was the tattoo).
She raised her pajama dress so I could see it.
See it daddy? It matches my shirt. I like my tattoo.
Yes baby, I see it. It is very pretty, I encouraged her.
Then, she let out a sigh, looked at me and smiled, turned on her side facing away from me and within a few seconds was fast to sleep.
She can be a handful and it takes a bit of effort to keep up with her, physically and mentally!
I laid there for a few minutes, to make sure she was asleep, before I got up. I looked at her and smiled and thanked God for her, her two sisters, and my wife.
I prayed for all three girls. I prayed God would give each of them a long, healthy life. I prayed they would grow and mature and become Christ followers. I prayed, if it be God’s will, they would be well-educated, marry a good man, have children and have a big family. I prayed they would be blessed to become grandmothers and maybe even great-grandmothers.
Sometimes, in the stillness and the quiet, the things that matter most really come in to view. It’s in those moments, I like to just lie still and think and pray and be thankful.