I often do not appreciate what I have until it is gone. One exception to that is nap time. My son is four years old, and I’m not sure how much longer he’ll take an afternoon nap. Any parent knows this is a crucial time to get stuff done. It is often your most productive, as you’ve got a limited window of uninterrupted time to make a small dent into your mountain of obligations. Make the soup for dinner, clean the bathroom, squeeze out just one more hour of work. Today, I used the time to write a few thank you notes for some future posts here.
Nap time isn’t just about getting my stuff done, though. Our ritual leading up to nap is a special time for just the two of us to set everything else aside and focus on just being together. After lunch, we get to go up to his room and snuggle in the big “comfy chair” in his room as we read books. For the next half hour or so, it is just us, the chair, and stories. We have time to linger in this book or that, talk about what a word or phrase means, or hypothesize about what a character might be thinking or feeling. Then, after some songs, I get to lay on the floor next to his bed and hold his hand as he goes to sleep. I don’t need to do this, of course, but it is just about the most wonderful time of my day. We are both still and quiet. Relaxed, but connected. I realize how fleeting his childhood years are. How many more days will he allow us to hold his hand as he goes to sleep? Though I don’t usually take the opportunity to sleep myself, laying there as his body quiets and his breathing slows to a regulated rhythm puts me in a calm and tranquil state that I don’t otherwise achieve. This is a daily gift that I am definitely most grateful for.