Putting Katie to bed each night takes some finesse. Her room can be too hot or too cold or too dark. Her pajamas can be too tight or too big or too boring. Her leg can itch, her arm can hurt, her toe could be scratchy. She might need a drink or a hug or another kiss. If you’re going to put Katie to bed, you need a little extra time and a little extra patience.
I was running low on both of those things last night. She was tucked in under the blankets, but I could see her mind working to come up with a reason to stop me as I walked towards her bedroom door.
“Good night, Katie. I love you,” I said.
And then I remembered.
My sister and I tucked in under our blankets, my mom standing at our bedroom door (probably low on time and low on patience). “Good night, sleep tight, blow out the light,” she would say. We would blow and instantly the room would darken. Magic.
How had I forgotten?
“Good night, sleep tight, blow out the light,” I said to Katie. She sat up and looked at me quizzically. “Blow,” I said again with a smile, my finger on the light switch. Katie blew and instantly the room darkened. I could sense Katie’s smile as she lay her head on the pillow, content with the magic she had performed.