Bedtime Worries

A favorite line on mothering from Peter Pan:

It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for the next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind, and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.

I was able to do this out loud for Ada last night. She was quite distraught at bedtime, as the best of the dramatic 7 year-olds are bound to be.

Ada, crying: “I just have this weird feeling, like, when I get to Heaven I’m not going to find it fun or enjoyable. And it just makes me feel so baaaaaad!” More crying.

Me, summarized: “Ada, you’re just a little girl. You couldn’t possibly imagine what Heaven is going to be like. And God knows that. He’s your Good Father who loves you. But even if you can’t imagine what Heaven will be like, can you trust Him when He says it will be good? If you can trust Him, even when you don’t fully understand, then you are doing everything He asks. You don’t have to stress out about it. He isn’t worried that you don’t have it all figured out.”

And it worked. Worries smoothed. I love being a mom.

9 thoughts on “Bedtime Worries

  1. I have been dealing with a similar thing with PJ just last night even. At least 2 nights a week we pray about her “funny feeling”. I have had similar conversations with her but usually it is about something that might happen or worried her friends won’t go to heaven.

    • They must be going through a similar stage, Christy. It is so hard to see her upset, but it is also comforting to know that she is recognizing the spirit even if she doesn’t quite know what to do about it. Memory verses help us a lot, too.

  2. I love this line in your story, “He isn’t worried that you don’t have it all figured out.”
    So grateful that it’s not true just for our children, it brings great comfort to me too.

    • Yes, sometime when I talk to the kids I feel like a preacher saying he’s preaching to himself! The Spirit leads well.

  3. I was amazed to see this title to your post, because poor Drew has inherited my active imagination which turns to evil at night and scares us to death. So many nights Mom had to walk me through this. I knew it was the fear and not an actual event that I needed to overcome, so it was so hard to do. I also greatly relate to these “weird feelings”. I had those too. I’m so glad you were able to soothe her. And I LOVE this Peter Pan quote.

    • We also use the classic verse: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” I make them say it out loud until their faces soften and their voice smiles. There is usually a big fight against them speaking the words, but when they do it feels much better. Crazy to see the power of the Word like that almost every time.

  4. Oh my goodness, it’s like you were sitting on Jude’s bed with me last night! “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” These exact words were spoken over and over. Love it!

    It makes the Mama Bear in me RISE UP like nobody’s business that fear is trying to get my baby! Also makes me question how I’m doing at keeping the atmosphere in our home peaceful, but I have to remind myself that these are normal struggles and there is One who fights for us. Yes!

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