We finally got the kids in bed. All the things needed for our nighttime routine are done. PJs on. Teeth brushed. Prayers prayed. Finally in bed.
Then the inevitable happens: kids come out of their room with an excuse. "I need to pee, I want water, I'm too cold, I'm too hot" - the list never ends.
On this particular night, my 5 year old son was the first to emerge. Frustration rushed through me - we spent all that time getting them to bed and now this time is my own. My "angry dad mode" was kicking on.
Before I could say anything, I got the best excuse I have ever heard: "Dad, Batman and Superman are keeping me awake." It stopped me cold. Now I was curious.
"Wait, what? What are Batman and Superman doing?"
He says, "They are talking and fighting and it's keeping me awake."
I was all in now. We talk through ways to get Batman and Superman to stop fighting, how to calm them down, and I walk him back to his bed. A few minutes later, he was fast asleep (evidently Superman and Batman were too).
This is one of the best memories I have this year. And I almost missed it because I was too busy.
Too busy thinking about what I wanted to do and my agenda. So busy I almost missed this peek into my son's world.
Before I know it, my kids will be grown. They'll be graduating from grade school, driving their own car, and moving away to head to college. But not yet - not now. Right now, they are here at home and I have every day to be a part of their world.
This is a reminder for all parents to slow down and engage with your kids in their world.
Maybe you can find out why Batman and Superman are fighting so much.