Editor’s note: Erin Pickersgill is one of SDI’s New Contemplatives of 2017. In this post, she shares two lovely ideas for bedtime spirituality that come from her Christian perspective. We believe the ideas of the “basket” and the “movie” can be adapted to be used by families from any spiritual tradition or those families whose spirituality is sourced in a number of traditions or no tradition at all. We encourage all parents to give them a try.
While sitting at swimming lessons the other day, watching my daughter dive for rings, I was listening to the parent-talk around me. They were sharing about children who wouldn’t sleep - and one particular child who suffered nightly from terrors and bad dreams. Obviously, the parents and the child were exhausted and at their wits’ end.
Twenty-five years ago, when my son Joel was a toddler, I woke up one day with the knowledge, deep in my gut, that I did not have what it takes to parent a child with a disability. We didn’t have a diagnosis of autism yet. What we did know was that our youngest son wasn’t developing according to the timetable followed by his two older brothers, He had constant meltdowns and tantrums. He pulled hair. He had a miniscule attention span with a constant need for attention and redirection.
I opened my eyes that morning knowing there was no way, in my humanness, that I could do this right. I simply didn’t have the vast reserves of energy, creativity, wisdom, and insight needed to be the mother Joel’s needs required.