7 o'clock is like lottery-winning-time in my house. Every night, after dinner, after baths, after story time and teeth brushing, the magical hour rolls around and the boys go to bed. And as the clock strikes 7, we crack open a bottle of champagne and have a party. Or, in the real universe, we breath a deep sigh of relief, and begin the process of winding down for the evening.
It's like biting into a bar of chocolate after a month-long chocolate fast.
It's like the first few seconds as you slip into a hot bath.
It's like a glass of red wine after a really long day.
It's like being told... go ahead and take a few hours to yourself.
It's my magical, happy, sparkly hour.
And it was all good and fine and reliable, until about a week ago, when my preschooler did the unthinkable: ten minutes after we put him to bed, he got up, opened his door, wandered into the living room in his pajamas and told us, plainly, "I don't want to go to bed."
I thought it was pretty cute, at first. I let him sit beside me on the sofa, watching TV. Then we read a book. And another. Still, he wasn't ready for bed. And then 8 o'clock came around, and I realized my precious, sacred evening time was evaporating.
My precious...! (insert voice of goblin creature from Lord of the Rings)
And then, despite my attempts to convince him that actually, he really did want to go to bed, that bed was, in fact, a wonderful, cozy, brilliant place, he wouldn't go.
After the third night of this, I realized my 7 o'clock was a thing of the past. I sobbed, internally, and then sucked it up. Because, well, they grow up, I guess.
Goodbye, 7 o'clock, my love.
I will miss you.
p.s. 8 o'clock? You will never replace my 7.