Me: Do you know what integrity means? Noah: Um, like who you are inside? Me: Yeah, but also who you are when no one is watching. Noah: Oh. Me: You have integrity if you do the same things in private that you do in public. Like, if you are only picking up trash somewhere so that someone will notice but you don’t do it when no one’s around. Make sense? Noah: So, it’s when you are yourself. All the time. Me: Pretty much. You know how sometimes I am really nice to you when other people are around and then maybe I am grouchy to you when they are not? Noah: Yeah, like when you yell sometimes when no one is around but then give me hugs when friends are over? Me: (taking a big gulp) Yeah. Like that. I hate that I do that and I want you to know that the reason I do that is because I want people to think I’m a great mom. And I’ve been wrong. What I really want is for YOU to think I’m a great mom. And I’m sorry. I will be working on this. Noah: You are a great mom. You’re the best mom. Can we go swimming tomorrow?We moms and dads are all tired at bedtime. I’m up early in the mornings so when 9:00 rolls around, I’m a goner. But, for the sakes of your kiddos, get in all the time you can. Because one day you won’t be tucking them in anymore. And you’ll miss it. I just know it.
As a mother, I’ve learned that some of the sweetest times with my boys are at bedtime. They always want me to lay down with them and either sing or tell them stories, followed up by a prayer that brings them comfort before they doze off. And I do. The nights are rare that I don’t spend 10-15 minutes going back and forth between their rooms because they need to give me just one more kiss and a hug. I wouldn’t miss these moments for the world. Or for all the tea in China, you understand. One particular night, my oldest son, Noah, and I were talking. It’s times like these that I get a glimpse into his heart and mind. I hear about his joys, his sorrows, his struggles, his fears. I use these quiet moments to teach him different character qualities that I’d love to see developed in his life. He’s opens his heart to me because he trusts me. Here is how our conversation went recently: