It was my turn to put the girls to bed tonight. Ed was off to choir practice (He says he’s a bass but I think he’s more of a baritone) and so he kissed the pajama-dressed girls goodnight and drove away. I lit the first purple candle in our Advent wreath while Lily and Emmy ran around the house turning off lights. We began the new nighttime routine we started last Sunday; first, we sing the songs Lily and Emmy will be singing in the Christmas Service, then we sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and finish with Silent Night. We sing the same songs every night, but not always in that order, and sometimes with an addition or two.
Then comes the ritual of arguing about who will blow out the candle even though Mommy (me) tries to enforce taking turns. This will be so much easier next week when we light two purple candles instead of just one.
Then up the stairs we went, heading for my favorite part of putting the girls to bed by myself. Normally, Ed takes Lily to her room to read chapter books to her, and Emmy and I go read picture books. But when Daddy’s gone, each girl gets to pick a book to read, and we snuggle in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. Tonight’s picks were The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog written by Mo Willems (Emmy) and Officer Buckle and Gloria, written by I don’t remember please don’t make me go look (Lily’s pick). After reading time, Lily snuggles deep into the covers of the bed, while I go and rock Emmy in the old glider. I sing bedtime songs. After carrying Emmy to her bed, Lily follows me in and kisses Emmy good night. Just a couple of hours earlier they had been bickering like mad, unable to get along. I love seeing Lily being so gentle with her little sister.
Lily goes off to bed next, and I give her a little snuggle time in her bed.
Our bedtime routine is different when Ed is gone, and we always miss him. But we know he’s not gone for long; he’ll be back the next night to sing Silent Night with us. And we are thankful.
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