My kids have never resisted going to bed at night, because they get what they want, which is me. We sleep in a whorl of bodies, with my head in the center, two little girls to either side of me, one boy perpendicular to us, and the other parallel to us and adjacent to his brother. Before we drop off to sleep we talk. It's the one time of day that they have my full undivided attention. I'm not a get-down-on-the-floor-with-the-kids kind of parent (as my husband is) so this is important. We talk about the events of the day, and the kids' various philosophical musings about life. We sing. They each have their special songs. For Jake it's an Irish folk song that I've been singing to him since he was a baby. For Noah it's Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Wwillow likes a variety of standards; regularly she'll request Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, You Are My Sunshine, and I've Been Workin' on the Railroad.

Lately we've been saying the Ki-Aikido motto together.

Our motto:

Let us have a universal spirit
that loves and protects all creation
and helps all things grow and develop.
To unify mind and body
and become one with the universe
is the ultimate purpose of our study.

Four major principles
to unify mind and body:

One: keep one-point
Two: relax completely
Three: keep weight underside
Four: extend Ki

Then ensued some discussion about the magic (as they see it) of Ki. I was really tired, so I said, "let's just sing Jake's special song and go to sleep." Rowan started singing instead which was just heart-breakingly sweet, and we listened for a while. I said how cute it was. Jake said, "I know, I can't stand it! It almost makes me want to faint with joy!" Hearing that almost made me want to faint with joy.

Then we sang:

Our ship she's ready to bear away
Come comrades o'er the stormy sea
Her snow-white wings, they are unfurled
And soon she'll swim in a watery world.

Do not forget, love, do not grieve
The heart is true and can't deceive
My heart and hand I'll give to thee
So farewell my love, remember me.

Farewell my love, so bright as pearl
My lovely dark-haired blue-eyed girl
And when I'm crossing the deep blue sea
I hope in Ireland you'll think of me.

(The song is called Farewell My Love, Remember Me. You can listen to it here sung by Nancy Curtin.)