The boys start winding down their days around 7:00pm. At this time, we have a routine in which they get their PJs on, go pee, brush their teeth and then go to their separate bedrooms for the night.
Then after that, they only have three rules:
- Stay in their rooms unless they have to go to the bathroom,
- Keep the big light off, but they can have their smaller bedside or nightlights on, and
- Stay relatively quiet.
That’s all that we ask of them. They can play quietly, read books, draw in their notebooks or do whatever. They get to decide when to crawl into bed and go to sleep. Usually our oldest is asleep within 15 minutes and our youngest about 30 minutes. This routine has been working for over 6 months now (since our youngest was about 3 ½ years old). Of course, throughout this nightly process they call for us a couple times asking us to talk, tuck them in, or get a snack. That’s fine with us as long as they stay in their room quietly.
Well, the other night things were going as usual, then around 7:45pm Gavin started crying hysterically. I found him in Nolan’s room. “That’s mine” Nolan was saying. Gavin was trying to talk, but he was crying so hard he couldn’t make out any words.
I lost my patience, and turning to Gavin I pointed my finger, “Get to your room! What the heck are you doing in here!”
Then I turned to Nolan I yelled, “What did you take of Gavin’s? Just leave each other alone!”
“When I say it’s bedroom time, IT’S BEDROOM TIME!”
Gavin sulked to his room, and Nolan literally flew into his bed. He laid there for a bit looking at me, then he quietly mumbled, “Take a deep breath Mom.”
Immediately my anger started dissolving into love. How can he be so wise I wondered? I followed his direct and took a deep breath. I walked over to his side, lovingly tucked him in, gave him a kiss, and warmly said “Love you lots. Have a great sleep”.
While this was happening, Gavin was still hysterically crying in his room. I took another deep breath and walked into his room.
“Nolan hurt me” he said pointing to a scratch on his foot. I knew that had been there a couple days now.
“Nolan didn’t hurt you. Your shoe rubbed there a couple days ago, it’s still healing. Get some rest and your body can heal it.”
“No. My body can’t heal it. My body did it!” he cried disheartened, still unable to calm down.
“Gavin,” I started calmly, “please take a deep breath. The magic is in the breath.”
He looked at me bewildered. I repeated, “The magic is in the breath. If you can’t breathe, then you can’t heal. You need to let the breath into your body.” And I repeated it slowly again and looked deeply into his eyes, “The magic is in the breath.”
It really is. To heal relationships, your body, your emotions or your mind: the magic is in the breath.
With love and compassion,