I was crawling into bed on the evening of Jan. 1 and it suddenly occurred to me what my New Year’s resolution should be — Kissing my kids good night.
In the past year or so, I’ve gotten lax with tucking in and goodnight kisses. By the time bedtime rolls around, I’m done. My excuse could be that bedtime is much later than it used to be or that my kids are older, but it doesn’t much matter. The truth is, I’ve become a lazy mom.
So I got out of bed that night and went into the boys’ room. I pulled the covers up around Jonah and gave him a squeeze. He’s my baby and easy to kiss. He still seems so little and smells so fresh. His bed is also on my level. Adam, on the other hand, is in a loft bed and the ladder hurts my feet. Some nights’, I blow him a kiss. Most nights’, he comes in to my room and gives me a kiss good night after I’ve climbed into bed. That night, I climbed up and gave him a proper hug good night.
Lilly is pretty good at reminding me she needs a kiss. If I’m walking by her room on my way to the couch, I’ll hear her whispering loudly: “Mom, you haven’t given me a kiss goodnight yet!” So if anyone has gotten regular kisses, it’s Lilly. She’s in the bottom bunk but she has so much stuff piled next to — and in — her bed, that I have trouble getting close enough to kiss her. Sometimes, I just reach in and pat her good night. But that night, I pushed my way through, sat down on her bed and gave her a proper goodnight kiss.
Maggie is in the top bunk and very difficult to reach between the height of the bed and Lilly’s pileup below. To kiss her, I have to wade through the stuff, step on the side of Lilly’s bed and hoist my way up. Sometimes I just waive my hand up to her as I’m heading out of the room. But that night, I climbed up and leaned in for a kiss.
I’ve tried to keep up this practice this week with varying degrees of success. A couple nights I was in bed long before the older three got home from swimming. But for the most part, I’m making a real effort. My hope is that this will help me to focus on the now. By seeing each one where they are every night, I’m hoping things will slow down a bit and they won’t seem to grow up quite so fast while I’m not paying attention.
I’ll let you know if it works.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 12, Adam, 12, and Jonah, 8.