Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Further Thought About Night-Time Conversations

In yesterday's post about attachment, I made a passing reference to the fact that I have unexpectedly found personal satisfaction when spending time talking with Matthew in his bed before he falls asleep.  That post was meant to be about Matthew, rather than about me, so I wanted to add the following about my experience...

I admit that at first, I resented the time that I was lying down with Matthew, thinking of the chores that I would normally be completing during that time, or the book that was calling my name.  It didn't take long, though, before I realized something with a jolt:  Matthew was having a hard time falling asleep because he was lying there processing what was going on in his head.  He was processing the events of the day, of the previous week, even of events that had happened months ago.  In addition, he was contemplating some of the bigger questions of life:  is God really out there?  How do I know he hears my prayers because sometimes when I pray it feels like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling?  My little boy was philosophizing about life in those lonely minutes or hours before being able to fall asleep and, because I was there with him in those moments, he was choosing to share with me some of the revelations he was experiencing (incidentally, a clear indication that he was in the final stages of attachment according to Gordon Neufeld).

It hasn't all been profound conversation - some nights he wants to 'do math' for a little while, and so he has learned to skip count by twos up to 40, and can now count backwards from 25 down to zero...who knew that night time was the time to teach math??!  But whatever the conversation, I love being there with him at night, and am thrilled that he wants (usually, unless he's bored with me these days!) my head on the pillow next to his while he talks about his day or unburdens himself about one thing or another.  I feel very thankful for these opportunities.

1 comment:

  1. In my house, I call it 'night time confessional'. When I am putting Nick to bed and we have finished his story, we usually have a cuddle for a bit and that is when he pours out all of his worries. It is also when he confesses to me if he has done something naughty-which is interesting. Autistic kids have a hard time lying. Generally, they don't get it, so they don't do it. He doesn't lie, he actually has never really done anything 'bad', but he will wait until that moment at night, where he feels safe, to tell me things like 'Mom, I had to stay in for 5 minutes at recess to finish my Math because I wasn't done.' If I had asked him earlier, he would have told me then, but he can't go to bed with something like that (minor as it is) on his conscious. He asks me about his Nana, who passed away 3 years ago, and if she still loves him and how he misses her and he'll often cry about her. He tells me how his feelings got hurt at the playground that day because someone wouldn't play...those kinds of things.

    I remember being the EXACT same way as you! I would enjoy the cuddle, but my mind would be on the pile of dinner dishes and the laundry waiting for me that I wanted to get done before my 'show' started on tv. Now, I know he's getting older and might not want me in there in the next few years, so that time is a special time for the two of us, and I'll take it as long as I can!