Godspeed, Sweet Dreams

Godspeed, Sweet Dreams

Lisa Witherspoon


6:00 am.  My alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed.  Throw on some yoga pants and put my hair in a ponytail.  Then, I trudge down the hall.  Lights on.  Coffee on.  Alarm off.  Dog out.


6:30 am.  Time to make the rounds.  I go to them one by one and the whirlwind begins.  We start the routine that should be automatic.  In sleepy fog of mornings, though, it is not.  Wake up.  Get dressed.  Eat breakfast.  Finish packing the lunches.  Brush your teeth.  Comb your hair.  Collect your things.  Shoes on.  Jacket on.  Out the door.


I deliver them to their schools - two in this direction; one in that direction.


I am back home.  In the silence.


Hours pass much too quickly.  They are at school learning, playing, socializing, learning, learning.  I am doing all the things I need to do.  Dishes, laundry, sweeping, straightening, blogging, running errands.  Maybe walk.  Hopefully shower. 


I blink once.  I blink twice.  It's time to go bring them back home.


I savor the last few moments of calm as I sit in the carpool line.  They jump in the minivan chatting, giggling, arguing, occasionally crying.  "How was your day?"  Tell me more.  I want details.  


We are home briefly.  Then back out to get the third.  "How was your day?"  I want to know everything.


Back home again and the whirlwind resumes.  Snack time.  TV time.  Homework time. They whine.  They argue.  They laugh.  


I am the conductor, directing everyone.  "Do your homework."  "Be nice to your sister."  "Practice your piano."  "Finish you homework."  "Clean up your mess."  "Stop."  "Go." 


In a flash, we are out the door again.  Riding lessons, soccer practice, piano lessons, gymnastics class.  The whirlwind furiously swirls. 


Somewhere in there, I throw supper on the table.  We sit together and talk.  But, hurry.


Finally, bath time.  Pajama time.  Bedtime.


One by one, I make sure they brush their teeth and read their books.  I turn on their night lights.  I hug them.  I kiss them.  I say "Good night, sleep tight."


Their day is done, but mine is not.  There are still lunches to prepare, emails to answer, papers to sign.  I  try to catch up.  Spend time with my husband.  I promise myself I will go to bed early this time.  I don't.


Eventually, I give in to the fatigue.  My day ends just like it began - only in reverse.  Dog in.  Alarm on.  Lights off.


Tiptoeing into each room, I make my rounds one last time.  I adjust their covers.  I turn off the night lights.  I kiss each of their foreheads.  I watch them breathe.  I inhale.  Exhale.  My heart and soul fill with wonder as I watch their slumber and this songs plays in my mind. 


"Godspeed sweet girl.  Sweet dreams precious child.  My love will fly to you each night on angels' wings.  Godspeed, sweet dreams."

(paraphrased from “Godspeed” by the Dixie Chicks.)


They are still.  They are quiet.  They rest serenely.  They look like angels.  


This moment is the best part of my day. There is comfort in watching them sleep.  There is peace in hearing them breathe.  We are safe.  We are together.  We are loved. 


The whirlwind of the day melts away and that moment is all that matters.


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