rituals: sleepy good (jennifer neyhart).

Guest post Tuesday ‘atcha again (and did you know that if you try and write “atcha,” WordPress will automatically try and correct it to “attache?” No way, man).  Anyhow, we’ve got the lovely Jennifer here with us today, sharing about a phrase whispered to and from parent to child, from her youth through now.  Enjoy her words, and then hop on over to her site and fill your mind!  

Cara asked me to write about something related to this phrase: “The boring rituals make the story deeper.”

For some reason, the first thing that came to mind was the bedtime ritual from when I was a child. My mom or my dad would read a Bible story out of our children’s Bible Story books, we would pray together, and the last thing we said each night was, “Night-night, I love you, sleepy-good”. And when we learned how to say goodnight in Spanish class in school, we tacked that onto the end. We knew that “sleepy-good” was not correct grammar and I have no idea how it came to be part of the goodnight phrase, but without fail, every night, that is what we would say to each other.

I remember nights when my dad came home after we had gone to bed, but he knew we probably weren’t asleep yet. He would come into our rooms and whisper, “night-night, I love you, sleepy-good”. Sometimes my brother and I would pretend to be asleep until the last possible moment before he left, and then in a rush we would repeat back, “night-night, I love you, sleepy-good!”

There was something comforting in the ritual of it and also in the daily reminder that I was loved. No matter what the day had been like, good or bad, at the end of the day I knew I was loved. I couldn’t have asked for more than that.

Even now, as an adult, if I talk to my mom on the phone in the evening, there are times when she will still say the old phrase, “night-night, I love you, sleepy good, buenas noches.” And I repeat it back to her, almost without thinking.

I don’t have children of my own, but if I did, you would hear me tell them every night,

“Night-night, I love you, sleepy good, buenas noches.”

Jennifer NeyhartJennifer Neyhart is an aspiring Educator and Scholar of C.S Lewis, Bible, and Theology. She is a seminary student at Asbury Theological Seminary. Her interests include Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories in addition to reading books related to Theology, Philosophy, The Bible, Spirituality, etc. You’ll find her blogging about these interests accordingly here, or tweeting about them here. Cara here again: short, sweet and to the point. Just how I like it!  Do you have a whispered phrase from your childhood, or with your own children?  What in Jennifer’s story to us touched you?  

5 thoughts on “rituals: sleepy good (jennifer neyhart).

  1. those night time utterances are worth remembering and repeating, Jennifer. When our son and daughter were young, I told each of them “Goodnight wonderful boy” and “Goodnight wonderful girl”. No matter how wonderful the day had actually been (and some days are rough) that’s what they heard from me at bedtime every night.

  2. I have bedtime ritual with my youngest but not a bedtime phrase. Thinking that is a very good idea to speak something uplifting and consistent in my children’s ears every night before they go to bed. I always say “I love you!” but I love how you described the feeling that it has given you over the years to have that special phrase.

  3. So fun to see you here, Jennifer. My routine with my three boys is singing their blessing. And when I standup from their “tucking” without the song, they cry, “Mama, bless me!”

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