Liar, Liar

14 01 2007

One of the most precious items I can give to my kids is the value of honesty. I consider myself an honest person. Sometimes, I am too honest, as I have come to realize I’ve made people upset with my brutal honesty (I’m working on it, really). But, tonight was a simple lesson in keeping your word.

Eliana was being a great little girl, even after a couple of minor outbursts today, she changed into her pajamas on her own, and was very cooperative when brushing her teeth.  She played well with her sister, she sat with me and watched some TV, and was very pleasant the entire evening. Her normal bedtime is 9pm, but we haven’t been able to hold her to it lately.  I asked her at 9pm today if she was sleepy, and she just answered “no”. No loud outburst, no yelling, and no screaming back.  She just said a simple “no”. With that, I felt I could trust her judgment, and proceeded in getting her sister to bed (who is much less cooperative).

Being a great big sister, she agreed to turn off the lights so her younger sister could sleep easier.  She also went to bed on her own, even though she had just said she wasn’t sleepy.  After I got her sister to lay down (covering her with several layers of warm blankets), I lay next to Eliana in her bed and talked for a little bit. Annabelle likes to know that there is someone in the room when she sleeps, so just by talking a little to Eliana, I can help her sleep.

After playing with Eliana for a little bit in her bed, I told her that I was going to go get my pajamas. She agreed, and I left the room with no fuss.  She did remind me several times on the way out that I was “getting your pajamas, and be right back“.  While I thought that this was my chance to escape for the night, as she was reminding me that I was coming back, I realized how important it was that I come back.  She was depending on it.  I basically promised her I would be back (even though she doesn’t know the word promise, she knows the idea).

I quickly changed into my University of Arizona gear (my pajamas) and headed downstairs to take care of some last minute items before I headed to bed. The whole time I was thinking about her, and trying to remind myself that I should make sure I at least visit her before I go to sleep.  After about 15 minutes (an eternity in child time), I headed back to the room and found her asleep.  Or so I thought.  In keeping my promise, I went and laid down next to her.  She woke up enough to realize that I was there, and put her tiny arm around my head.  It took about 10 more minutes, but she finally went to sleep.

I know it was only a small even in the overall scheme of her life, but every small action can have a huge impact on her impression of me as a father.  I want to make sure that her knows she can trust her father to be true to his word.  This is the only way I know how to do that.

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