4th of July has passed. Thankfully! Don’t get me wrong…I love the cookouts, the time with friends, and the fireworks…but I also love getting proper sleep. Maybe it was a parenting mistake taking our kids (3.5 & 1.5 yrs old) to two consecutive nights of fireworks. Maybe it was the fact that they did not get to bed until 11pm but still wake up at the same time in the morning. Either way…I am tired.
We approached the actual 4th with the plans of doing nothing. We just finished our two consecutive fireworks nights. Monday night was a wonderful night to simply relax, chat with neighbors, and get the kids to bed at a decent hour. The problem comes in the fact that we failed to plan for the fact that 40 something’s like to play with things that explode. Fireworks were booming around our house on all four sides it seemed. Canaan woke up screaming and Maggie wouldn’t even think about going to bed. So…we sat watching the fireworks on TV with our two exhausted but terrified kids waiting…just waiting…for the bursting bombs to stop so we could all go to bed.
Eventually we made it to bed. I think my head hit the pillow around 2:00am. But…when I think back…even in my “out-of-it” tired state…I would not have traded last night for anything. Last night my son was terrified. Tears streaming down…lungs exploding with fear…and a grip as strong as little baby Superman. That is…until I picked him up. Once I got him out of his crib the crying subsided. The tear-flow was cut off. Peace entered my child.
It is nice knowing that I have the power to calm my son. It is nice to know that I have the ability to fix the problem. And all I did was pick him up and love him. Sometimes as dads (and probably moms) we think that we have to be someone extraordinary to be a good parent. It isn’t true. You just have to be there for them and love them with all that you have. And sometimes…it simply means losing some sleep so your son can feel safe. Sometimes…it simply means being there when they are afraid.