The Light Under the Door

One of the biggest cliches about parenting is also one of the biggest truths: those kids, they grow up so quickly. I'm all too aware of how fleeting time is and how important it is to be fully present in each moment because nothing beyond what's happening right now is ever guaranteed.

I remind myself of this every time life gets crazy or every time I'm tempted to start a pity party for myself. I remind myself of this when I worry big time about small things. I especially remind myself of this when I'm spending time with my kids and especially when I feel myself starting to get into the "I'm so busy, life's so crazy" spiral of excuses that prevent me from enjoying life's little moments to the fullest.

I hope it is abundantly clear to anyone who knows me just how much I love and adore my kids. They drive me nuts, but I couldn't be any more nuts about them. Each little guy has his own quirks and habits that make him absolutely delightful and delicious. Being the total sentimental mush that I am since I became their mom, I know that with each joyful milestone, I will also mourn the loss of these things that have marked their childhoods as they become stories and memories.

One that I want to capture for posterity belongs to Des. Unlike Tyson, he did not naturally take to bedtime routines (or any routines, for that matter). While we read Tyson stories before bed, Des would run around the room, make a mess, jump on the bed, and do whatever he could to keep his "Party Boy" nickname. I worried that he'd never be able to sit down long enough to enjoy reading a book, but somewhere along the way, he became the most voracious "reader" in the house.

His love of reading became even more clear when we started to find the light under the door. Des has always rebelled against bedtime, so we started to get suspicious when he started going down more easily. If you think we should have relished in him finally learning and abiding by the routine, then  you don't know Des. His rebellion had just become more quiet. I was so frustrated the first time I found the light. I figured he must be up messing around in his room, and this made what I actually found behind the door that much sweeter. When I opened it, there was our little Party Boy finally passed out in the middle of a circle of books. It is now a common occurrence to find the light and to find Des either reading a book or asleep in the evidence of a night of beyond bedtime reading. I have to stop for a minute before I can enter his room to replace my grin with a serious "go to bed" face, but something about that kid (or maybe everything about that kid) ensures that the grin will always return anyway.

I know that someday the light under the door will mean I'm about to enter into an argument about bedtimes or cell phones or video games or things that I don't even know about yet, and it makes me cherish the sweet innocence of my little reader of today even more.

Thank you, light under the door, you made my day.


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