An Ode to Bedtime

Ahhh, bedtime.

Not the actual bedtime routine: the bath - jammies - two, no three, no FOUR stories - and a song - prayers - and eighteen times on the potty marathon that is putting those children to bed.

No, I'm talking about the blissful, beautiful time after everyone is snuggled down, safe, swaddled, tucked in their beds and sound a-freaking-sleep. The afterglow, if you will. No one wants anything. No one needs anything. No one is touching me. No one is talking. It is quiet.

I do not take this time of day for granted. No way. I have worked way too hard to get here. The twins have gone through several periods of bedtime protests. Hell might be attempting to put a toddler to bed who insists that they aren't tired through screams, giggles, and tears. Even a couple of months ago we might have been interrupted one, two, three or more times by the baby. Always wondering: when I put him down, will he stay down this time? But now? I lay him down. And I'm done.  Period. I don't even bother to grab the baby monitor anymore since I know he'll stay asleep.  It's a bedtime miracle!

This part of the day is beautiful. It's one of my favorites. Dark and peaceful, the long stretch of the day behind. It's full of freedom. Not the I-could-jet-off-to-Vegas-at-the-drop-of-a-hat kind of freedom, but of the I-can-go-to-the-bathroom-if-and-when-I-need-to-without-interruptions variety. It's a time to breathe. Sometimes there are tasks to complete: leftover dishes from dinner, a tour of living room pick-up duty, laundry to fold. Things that need to get done, but they're not the focus. It's a time, often the only time of the day, to rest and recharge. To have grown-up conversations or just watch something other than Daniel Tiger.

I salute you, bedtime. And while the afterglow is glorious in and of itself, there are a few post-bedtime key players that deserve some special recognition:

To my comfy chair: Thank you for holding my tired and worn-out body at the end of the day. It's with you that I can rest, read, write, relax, and do my Amazon Prime shopping in peace.  

To leggings: If I haven't already been wearing you all day, you can bet I have changed into you by now. Thank you for being soft and stretchy and, basically, not jeans.

To dark chocolate: I love you. You are delicious and smooth, bitter yet still sweet. Thanks for existing.

To wine: Thank you for existing, too. 

To chamomile tea: For being the smarter, or at least cozier choice on other evenings. Your warm, light presence is the ultimate comfort before bed.

To Netflix: Whether I need something to zone out to, or something a bit more intellectually stimulating, you've got my back.

To books: Since I always have to be reading something. You're the last thing I look at and fill my mind with before officially shutting down for the day.

More specifically, to ebooks: Because I don't have to leave my house, get off my butt, or even out of my bed to obtain you. Within seconds. Thanks, technology. You rock.

To my husband: Thank you for finishing dishes, offering to pick up the house at the end of the day, and dealing with those toddlers demanding their 18th potty trip after being put to bed.  I love that you understand and lovingly disappear on the evenings that I "just don't want to see anyone's face", and for accommodating me on the other nights when "all I want is an adult to talk to".  I love you most of all.