With six kids in one family bedtime is always an adventure. It seems like the time between work and bedtime almost evaporates each night. Between making and serving dinner, getting dinner dishes done, helping with homework and making sure that the kids have the occasional bath or shower, there is no downtime between 5 and 8 – when the youngest one goes to bed.
Addy goes to bed at 8 after a story, about that time, Landon and Justin are starting the process of brushing teeth getting in jammies and reading until bed time prayers. Just as soon as they are at lights out, it is time to turn our attention to the 11-year old. I must admit that once those four are in bed, I am pretty much done for the day, and the two older girls (both teens) can pretty much outlast me. Somewhere shortly after 9, I dissolve into the couch and I think it’s been quite some time since I have actually seen the end of a television show that began at 10.
So last night I had just settled into relax mode and was starting to feel that sense of relief that only happens once the house quiets for the night. About that time, the 9-year old trotted upstairs, “Justin is crying and says his throat hurts.” So, down I went to check on him and sure enough the 8-year old was miserable and felt like he couldn’t swallow. So, I got him calmed down and finally got him to agree that the very best thing for him was rest. I went back upstairs. No sooner had I sat down, then up came the 8-year old to tell us “Landon’s stomach hurts and he’s crying.” Down went Dave to try to asses the situation. And so it went for the next hour or so. With a sort of ‘misery loves company’ effect taking place at our house as they dropped like flies. Thankfully, by the next day five of the six had recovered and felt well enough to go to school. I, however, had to drag myself through work the next day barely aware of what was going on around me. It was certainly a good reminder that kids are more resilient than grown ups and that I really cherish that hour of downtime at the end of each night.
I sit here now, during that hour, crossing my fingers that all of those who are tucked in will remain so and that I can unwind just a bit before calling it a night.