Subtle changes are happening in our household.

So subtle, that I sometimes do not realize they’re happening until it hits me that an event is actually peaceful.

Like going to bed.

We’ve had custody of my husband’s kids for 7 years now.  SEVEN YEARS!  I cannot believe how fast and yet how slow that time has gone by.

I posted before about our dinners becoming more family-like.  It took time.  It took patience.  And it took being a family….in our own special way.

Now another change, going to bed, has happened that shows just how far we have come as a family.

Before we had custody, we had our routines – baths, brushing teeth, good night hugs, and tucking in.  After we received custody, it was a battle – even though nothing else had really changed.  Going to bed on-time was a nightly battle.  Getting teeth brushed was like asking them to swallow acid.  Forget giving or receiving good night hugs – we were no longer worthy of any type of physical touch.  Just the thought of a hug was enough to cause severe bouts with leprosy.

Over the years, the battles turned to a grudging acceptance.  Mostly.  Usually.  Battles still erupted when one or another wanted to attempt to show that they were in charge.

But there was no warmth like before.

Part of this is their ages – after all, they’re all teenagers now and parents are not worthy of any type of acknowledgement.  I get this and understand it.

But….

There has been a subtle shift in the last couple of months.  So subtle that I hadn’t realized it was happening until about 2-3 months into the shift.

So I thought about it….and realized that this shift has been going on since at least late December.  I cannot be sure about before that time frame, but it is possible that it was happening then as well.

The kids are actually telling us “Good Night!” and “See you in the morning!” and going to bed on their own, without prompting from us and….GASP!…..on time!

They are doing this on their own.

I finally noticed it because they were also including me in their wishes for a good night.  That hadn’t happened before.

It made me realize how much it melts my heart to hear them say these things to me.  It is such a little thing, but speaks volumes to me.  I love my kids.

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