But recently I have noticed that it doesn't really make bedtime any easier. J was getting up repeatedly, and now with the extra excuse of "I have to go potty" folded into her arsenal of avoidance tactics there were nights where despite appearing near sleep in front of the TV bedtime would drag on for literally multiple hours afterward. So I changed it up, and banned screens from the bedtime routine. The transition was a little rough.
Now J takes a bath every night after the baby goes down instead and J falls asleep much quicker when it is her turn. I'm much more relaxed too, as it turns out. But my favorite part isn't bathtime, or even the 20 or so minutes of reading we do afterwards. I've started doing a little version of Compline with her every night, praying together and singing a hymn for evening before she tiptoes into bed and lifts up her small face for a kiss and a blessing.
J will bring me my Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and ask for the "Daddy work p'ar" which is one of the prayers at the end of Compline in our prayer book, and my favorite one. She listens to me read it and whispers "amen" when it is done. In the past I have often said this prayer just before I close my eyes for sleep on nights that Andrew is working, because it does seem to me that it is a prayer written for him, his co-workers, and the people who have come into their care at the hospital. Saying it is something that, for me, brings peace, eases loneliness, and restores any battered edges from the day with its reminder of just how far the One in whom I trust will go for the sake of love.
It's late and I should go to bed- so I'll just end it here.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love's sake. Amen.