You don’t have to have a medical degree to know that people need to get enough sleep. It’s important for memory function, for problem solving ability, for the general ability to function, for children to grow and develop optimally, and for overall good health. It’s really important.
So why does my house, filled with growing teenagers and parents who need their minds to function well, have lights on later than anyone else on our block?
It’s not like we sleep in. We have places to go and things to do. Work, meetings, cross country practice, marching band camp, drama camp. And in a few weeks everything will start even earlier and stretch later.
During the school year, the lights are on late at night because of all the homework that needs to be completed after school, sports practices and meets, music practicing, music lessons, school concerts, rehearsals, meetings…
And then there are some nights when the obligations are over, and our family could catch up on a little of that precious sleep. Like tonight.
But I’m not telling my kids to hit the sack. The giggles coming from the living room, where my husband and our three boys are playing Euchre, are more precious than sleep.
I have no problem, late at night, telling the kids to get off of Facebook and go to bed. But I find it really difficult to tell them to stop making music together, either with their instruments or with their laughter.
They may end up an inch or two shorter than they would have if they had a childhood of adequate sleep. They may have a point or two lower on their ACTs.
But they will have the closeness with one another that I wish for them more than anything else in the world.
I have an early meeting tomorrow, so I’m going to stop writing. I’m going to go join my men in the living room – maybe I can talk them into a few hands of Hearts.