Last night, a dear friend of mine agrees to visit my children around bedtime to read stories and “tuck them in.” It’s so whimsical and comforting: a loving friend stops by, has a bedtime snack with you, reads you your favorite book, says bedtime prayers, and leaves you sleeping soundly by 8:30 PM. That’s a great tuck-in.
|The Perfect Tuck-In|
I want to hire her to tuck me in.
When do we stop needing that moment at the end of the day when somebody gets us situated in a snug spot and goes through a ritual designed to transition us into dreamland?
As I’m lying on the floor listening to the bedtime stories, I recall great tuck-in moments. My dad used to throw my sister and me over his shoulder as his “sack of potatoes” to carry us up the stairs to bed. The sack-of-potatoes tuck-in brought me so much security and joy each night.
Years later, I was a camp counselor presented with the challenge of tucking in 7th grade girls. For the ten girls in my cabin at Camp Greystone, I read the Bible with a flashlight in a soft voice as they listened in their bunks. Then, I walked around the cabin, touched heads, straightened blankets, leaned over, and whispered something simple like: “I hope you have a great night’s sleep and wonderful dreams.” I would mention something I noticed about their days–something good that happened–and I’d remind them of the great day they would have tomorrow.
I tucked them in.
They were 13 years old. They seemed to hate it at first. They’d turn their face away and act like they’d already fallen asleep. But within a week, they’d beg for the tuck-in, reminding me that I should do this and saving tidbits of joy to share with me.
Another great tuck-in memory came as I recalled the year the preschool had an auction to raise money. One of the auction items was a tuck-in from the teacher! She’d arrive in her cow printed pajamas and appear in your bedroom for stories. Families fought to win that prize. The tuck-in prize was the single highest grossing item at the auction.
I’m older now, and there’s nobody tucking me in. And what about all my friends? Who tucks them in?
I want to tuck my loved ones in. I know I can’t literally do this (maybe I could), but I can symbolically provide tuck-in moments. I can make a phone call, send a text, write an email, say a prayer. I can send out a million reminders that you’re secure and safe, loved and cherished.
I crawl into my own bed. I make a snug spot and remind myself of these things. I read a book to myself and say my prayers. I’m secure. I’m tucked in.