Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Bedtime Letter to Madeleine


Tonight, as I looked over at my bedside stand, I realized that it's lacking the usual parenting books that most recommend. My side table is not topped with stacks of parenting advice, surviving the little years, or anything like that.

My bedside is still poetry and fairytales. When I lay down to sleep, I feel not all unlike you.

I am full of prayers and questions and things unfinished for the day. I am a mix of kicking off blankets, asking for water and wondering why we actually pray.

Tonight you asked me why we pray before bed.

Part of me wanted to say "I don't know" because it seems like some of our prayers go unnoticed these days.

But I don't say this to you. Instead, tonight I tuck the blanket tightly around you and say that we end our day looking to the one who created us,

"He created you," I say and you smile big. "He created your hands," and I grab them in mine. "And your perfect nose," and I squeeze it once as you laugh.

"And he finished making you said, 'Wow, she's beautiful"..."

"Just as I am?" you ask.

I nod, "Just as you are."

"Wow mom." Your head goes into the pillow as you take this in.

I tell you that's why we pray. To remind ourselves that we need the God who created us to also be with us in every step. In the beginnings and in the ends. We can't do any of this life without Him, even when we think we're doing it without Him.

It is a suitable answer for you. You ask me for water one more time, and explain how that last sip is the one that really puts you at ease. I reach for the glass because I know this is true. Water is your nighttime cure. It settles you and somehow tells your body, rest now, the day is over, what's done is done. 

You are long asleep as I climb into my own bed. I looked at you once to see your perfectly formed nose nuzzled into your favorite blanket. Tonight I am not reading the 10 Steps to Training a Child. I am laying back, looking to the One who is our beginning and end and giving quiet thanks. For you, for this day. I ask and pray and surrender and rest.

I am not that unlike you my dear. I am still a child in so many ways.

My head is full of questions. My heart is full of poetry and fairytales. And I am thirsty for water.


  1. I don't always write a comment... but I always say one out loud. Sometimes, I really really really wish that you were right here and we could talk about all these feelings in person! Miss you, Andrea! You make me want to go pray a different prayer tonight. Thanks for writing, as always.