Putting the girls to bed is probably one of my most favourite times in the day*. Each night we curl up together on Bethany’s bed, read a story, read the “Bible Book”, pray and give out the hugs & kisses. Covers are pulled up, I read a chapter from a big kid book (The Mouse and Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary right now), sing to them or put on their songs and we watch them drift off.
It’s family time for us. If we are all home, we are all there. It’s the time of day when the chaos has ended and we can just enjoy each other. I settle down on the floor next to Audrey’s bed and love stroking her forehead until her eyes are too heavy to stay open any longer. It doesn’t usually take long, in fact most nights she’s out before the music even begins, the days wear her out.
Each night, Corey settles in with Bethany. Sometimes on the floor beside her, other times sitting on the edge of the bed, but he’s never very far. She takes a little longer to fall asleep. Bethany’s mind takes a while to slow down, it takes her a little time to process her day and to let sleep take over. Most times Corey just sits and waits, we don’t want them to be so dependent on us being there that they aren’t able to sleep, so he just stays where she can know she’s not alone. Some nights though, like tonight he rubs her back. Slow and methodically he rubs her back and it doesn’t take long before I see her little eyes fluttering down. Try as she might, once Daddy starts the “magic back rub” she’s powerless and sleep takes over.
That moment, watching him rub her back and smile, is the cherry on top for me. It’s something Corey has done for each of his girls (me included when I’m not feeling good) for as long as forever. If they wake up in the night, sometimes all it takes is Daddy’s back rub and his soft humming for the girls to drift back off to sleep. When sleep is so desperately needed, but just won’t come a back rub from Daddy is sure to help tip the scales. And when everything aches and nothing feels good, his gentle touch and soothing voice make it all fade away.
I love that. I love that he’s giving them such a precious gift in such a simple act. I don’t doubt that they’ll remember that about their Daddy as they grow. I have no doubt that even when they’re too big for Barbies and boys are the topic of the century it will be Daddy’s back rub that will soothe the tears of a broken heart and when they have babies of their own one day, they too will sit beside the bed and rub a back, humming softly thinking of their Dad.
*note: The pre-bedtime bath, potty, teeth, hair & inevitable meltdown is NOT my favourite time of the day