At 8 o’clock in the evening, I can be seen herding my three children up the stairs to their bedroom with enough enthusiasm to match a team of bouncy cheerleaders on the sidelines of a premiership game: “C’mon girls! Let’s Go! Go! Go!”
We race up the stairs together—“Last one to the room has to turn off the lights!” Squealing and screaming as we sprint, I rush them through their bedtime routine.
They have barely climbed into bed when I hurriedly peck their cheeks and tuck their wriggling bodies in. I rudely interrupt them midsentence, as they begin to share a story with me, assuring them that I will definitely make time to hear their exciting recollection tomorrow.
I close the door a little too loudly, and holler through it, “No more talking. Lights are out. See you tomorrow. Sweet dreams! Oh—and say your prayers!”
Once in the safety of my own bedroom, breathless from the bedtime-routine-triathlon of “run, tuck-in and kiss,” I often collapse in a heap, exhausted from the day’s activities. In the meantime, right upstairs, I am sure, there are three little hearts still pounding from being scurried into bed while their voices are deliberately stifled, afraid to be heard. While they do eventually fall asleep, it really isn’t the most ideal preface to a peaceful night’s rest.
So, inspired to create a more peaceful bedtime routine, and harboring a desire to introduce mindfulness to my children, I began leading meditation to my captive group of three young pajama-clad participants each night.
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