Mike Crider turns on a projector of stars for his twin girls so they can drift off to sleep peacefully. And it is the strength of inner peace which Mike tries to internalize.
I have been extremely blessed in a lot of ways. In regards to the girls, one of the things that has been extremely nice is that they started sleeping through the night at four months. I hear horror stories of kids who are two and three and still wake up once or more, so I really don’t complain when it comes to this particular topic. They occasionally wake up, but they are pretty sounds sleepers for the most part.
We have had a sound machine in the nursery since the girls were born, and they have come to expect falling asleep to the sound of the ocean or rain. After all, even adults need white noise sometimes to fall asleep; why else would Apple make an actual app called “White Noise”? This sound machine has a projector built into it that we have not used much at all, until recently.
The girls have not noticed the dark or have not mentioned they are scared of it. But N started asking Mommy to lay with her in the bed at nights to fall asleep, so we figured it would be a great idea to start putting the projector piece to use. The actual machine uses these little discs that rotate and show certain objects like fish or stars, sometimes even smiley faces. N now refers to the process as “turning on the stars”, and M also enjoys looking at stars to fall asleep.
Many parents battle putting their kids to sleep, but ours have really started enjoying the process since we started putting the stars up on the ceiling. It’s a great feeling to see your children right before they fall asleep, because it shows they are at peace. Then you start thinking about all the things in your life that cause you to not feel peace.
I think it’s very easy to get stressed out, by a lot of things. There are bills, pressures at work, social circles, taking care of kids, family time, focus on religion or spirituality, and by the way, there are 24 hours in a day. There are times when I will see M or N sleeping and think, they are really lucky. Not to have me as a parent (although feel free to drop me a random compliment), but because life for them is really simple. Sometimes, simplicity is the best thing. They have basic needs that need to be met, and by and large, we are able to provide for them. Sure, occasionally we run out of Cheerios or have to throw their blankets in the washer, but we can meet their needs and it gives them peace.
They are too little to worry about being picked on, keeping up with their friends, being terrified of their looking-glass self (what they perceive others think about them), or even what nonsense Miley is taking part in. I want them to grow up like any other child, but I hope they always keep that simplicity at heart. Life naturally gets more complicated as one gets older, but I do hope they always get enjoyment from simple things in life. It will help them to be happier, more of the time. I think every parent wishes for their child to be successful in life, and I want the same. But I keep John Wooden’s quote in mind with success: “Success is a peace of mind, which is the direct result of the self-satisfaction you get in knowing you did your best to become the best you were capable of becoming.”
In other words, when we talk about success, it’s easy for us to want to quantify it in terms of money or social status. But Coach Wooden talks about how it is actually a peace of mind, which is what I always hope for the girls as they get older. I hope they will always be able to “turn on the stars” and sleep well at night.
Originally published at TwinDadTalks.com
photo by Gianni Cumbo / flickr