One of my favorite parts of our day now is bedtime. Since she was a baby, I was always the one to put her to bed. Shortly before Braden was born, Kenny took over the job because I knew I would probably be preoccupied with nursing or calming him during that time of night. Recently, Avery has reclaimed her nighttime routine with Momma. Daddy just won't do. At first I slightly resented the fact that I was not able to relax a little, but I soon came to realize that was one of our precious alone times that I came to treasure so dearly.
I recount all of this to share two 'Avery' stories that take place during our evening wind-down. Our routine consists of two books, a prayer and a song. I don't know why I've been extra sentimental with her lately, but I enjoy watching her every move. While watching her the other night I realized she has her own ritual within our nighttime routine.
She sits in front of her bookcase, perusing the selection in anticipation of finding just the right fit for the evening. You see, with hundreds of stories to choose from, it's nearly impossible to only pick two. (This predicament normally turns into her trying to barter her way into three or even four books!) So there she sits, poised with her pointer finger sliding across the top of the bindings. She thinks she finds one to her liking, tilts it out, only to mutter, "no" under her breath. More sliding ensues; more tilting, followed by more "No's." Finally we find a "yes!" she exclaims, pulling it out and setting her treasure beside her before looking for more gold.
This happens every night. I wait for her in her bed; sometimes more patiently than others. Then we are ready to settle in for some snuggles and adventures.
The other night, her selections included her Bible for mothers and daughters. I decided to take the opportunity to add that book to our routine each night. Our first night of reading, she was mesmerized (even though she had already heard the story of Adam and Eve several times). Since she was so in tune to God's word and the things He was teaching us that night, we looked at each other, and I expounded on some of the study questions. I was excited to see her eyes seemed to be eagerly anticipating my every word. She nodded happily to my questions and thoughts. As this was happening, I was thinking about how glad I was that my sweet Avery was listening so intently to God's word.
Then she spoke. "Momma," she said.
"Your lips are talking, and they look really funny."
Then she turned back to the Bible and started asking more questions.
This morning Avery was watching Mr. Rogers. As he came to the point in his song 'won't you please, won't you please? Please won't you be my neighbor?' I asked Avery if she would be my neighbor.
She replied, "no, I'm your Avery."