Bedtime moments...

I love bedtime routines, especially at Fiona's age. They know what to expect and it is comforting to them...and honestly, it is a nice thing to look forward to for me too. These days when I put Fiona to bed, we start with putting on her "jams" and a clean "dipe", brushing her teeth, and cuddling up on the glider to read some stories.

Her recent favorites include "Save the Egg!", a Wonder Pets easy reader, which we have read so many times that she can say the last word in each line, like "...the egg is rolling into a HOLE". She also adores "Llama Llama Red Pajama", especially when he gets two kisses from his mama, and she reaches her cheek up for a kiss too. I happily oblige. We often pull out "Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush" as well, which we sing together. Her favorite part is singing an exuberant "morning" at the end of each verse. It's adorable.

Then we turn out the light and she goes, "Sing Sing, Mama!" So we snuggle and I sing songs that always comfort me, like Amazing Grace, Silent Night, and God is So Good. I also like to sing Que Sera, Sera, which reminds me of my grandma. I always picture her in my mind sitting on the bed with her guitar and singing in her slightly twangy voice,

Que sera, sera

Whatever will be, will be

The future's not ours to see

Que sera, sera...

The other song that has been popping into my head at bedtime is the old hymn, It is Well with my Soul. We sang it a couple of weeks ago at church right before we dedicated Fiona, and as I stood there singing with Madi's hand in mine, Parker and Ben next to me, and Fiona behind me standing with all four of her grandparents, I couldn't stop the tears rolling down my face. I could feel my past holding me up, my present hanging on to me, and my future held by the only One that knows where I am headed. And through it all, it is indeed well with my soul.

So, now it has become the newest addition to our bedtime routine, a song that I want to be part of my kid's musical memories. Unfortunately, they will only know verses 1 and 4, because that's just how I learned hymns growing up, but either way...this is what I sing...

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well...with my soul...

It is is well...with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well...with my soul...

It is is well...with my soul.

Even now, it makes me choke up.

Then I say, "Okey-dokey-artichokey" and I swing her up into my arms for the short walk to the crib. Her toddler bed is in the room too, waiting for that upcoming transition, but for now, I tuck her in with all of her friends...Llama Llama, Kitty, Elmo, Piggy, Baby, Bearie...and then her little pink Bitty Baby blankie goes on top of them all. I say, "Good Night, Beautiful" and she goes, "Ni-Ni Mama", sometimes over and over until I am outside of the room and clicking the door shut.

Soon...she won't fit on my lap as snugly and later, she will want to read her own bedtime stories, and someday she will be putting her own kids to bed, but for now...I am treasuring those quiet moments. Bedtime moments.

Rachel Hammond

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