When I was a kid, I was no fan of bedtime. In fact, usually after being ordered to bed, I would wait about five minutes before returning to the living room where my folks were watching TV and announce that I couldn’t sleep because I wasn’t tired.
“Did you try closing your eyes?” they would ask me.
“Yes,” I would lie.
“Go back to bed,” they would say.
“Fine,” I would reply. “But I’m not tired.”
This little ritual happened so often that I earned the nickname of “Boomerang” at bedtime.
But at some point, this habit changed. And I think the thing that changed it was my love of reading. Because at some point, I stopped fighting the bedtime call and found a new way to disobey my folks.
I stayed up and read by flashlight. I know, I know, “What a rebel!”
And I’m sure that I killed quite a few batteries due to falling asleep mid-sentence.
Now that I’m a parent, I get to see the other side of things. And I realize that my folks probably weren’t bothered at all with my late-night reading habits. For one, reading is good for the brain. For another, it stopped me from bothering them during their television time every night. And if it cost a bit of money to keep my flashlight alive with fresh batteries, I’m sure that it was a justified expense.
Why do I think it is justified? Because my wife and I recently found my oldest daughter like this:
And it was one of the quietest nights in a while.