This I Believe

Sherrill - INDIANOLA, Iowa
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

I believe every child deserves a loving mother and father.

As a young child, I never had a case of the don’t-make-me-go-to-bed blues. My situation was, in fact, quite the opposite. To me, bedtime rivaled recess or even playtime with Barbie, and each evening I most willingly curled under the covers. When the sky grew dim and the evening activities calmed, a small bud of anticipation grew within me.

Every night after I dutifully brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed, my mother or daddy tiptoed into my dimly-lit pink and white bedroom. Inside and out, I smiled upon their entrance and waited with bated breath for what was to come.

If it was Daddy’s turn to tuck me in, I could count on hearing my favorite stories and drawing pictures on his back with my finger. When I drew a pretend picture, he had to guess what sort of creation I had come up with. Every night, whether he knew what sort of picture I had outlined or not, he guessed until I fell back into bed, wrought with the giggles and amazed that my drawing had been great enough to stump him. Following our back-drawing game, we said our prayers and he gently rubbed my belly until I soundly drifted into sleep.

On mother’s night, I expected a bedtime routine quite unlike my daddy’s yet equally wonderful. Still as stone I waited in bed for my mother. Replacing finger games and tall tales, my mother brought something from deep within her to bedtime. As she sat on my bed, Mother gently began to scratch my back while she sang to me. Those nights, I felt that my mother’s voice rang for me alone. She sang songs from church and songs from school. She sang songs our family sang around the campfire and she sang songs her mother sang to her. I still remember the croon of her voice and each song that lulled me to sleep.

I will never forget bedtime with my mother and daddy. Some may view it as a routine task, but to me it was a consistent tangible display of the unconditional love I always received from my parents. I dare say that those simple bedtime games, stories, and songs molded me into the human I am today. Every one of those nights instilled in me a love that never fades when the lights dim.

Imagine the kind of world we would live in if every single child felt a parent’s love beside them each night.