Author: Rev. Peter Cusick
I recently had an interesting conversation that took me somewhat by surprise. A person (we will call him Joe) was telling me the following story. Both of Joe’s parents were addicted to alcohol and many a night Joe would have spent in his house all by himself. Joe had other siblings, but there was a large enough gap in ages that he spent a lot of time alone. Joe would look after himself and go to bed whenever he happened to choose. Joe never really remembered getting ‘tucked in’ by a parent, a bed time story, or any such thing.
When Joe was around twelve years old he was invited for a sleep over at a friend’s house. When it was bed time the strangest thing occurred. The dad of the house came into the room. The dad went over to the bed of his son, kissed him on the forehead, said good-night and ‘tucked him in.’ This was quite strange to Joe. He had never actually seen this happen before. Then to Joe’s amazement the dad approached the bed in which Joe laid. The dad leaned over, kissed Joe on the forehead, tucked him in, and said, “Good night boys!”
Joe felt incredibly awkward. This was—well, weird! However, as the days turned into weeks, months and years this family kind of adopted Joe in a spiritual sense. They helped Joe on his spiritual journey and became —spiritual parents to Joe.
But here is what I am after—do kids still need tucking in? Do children still need a parental kiss? I think, ‘Yes they do!’ I think it helps develop the child emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. There are important occasions in our lives and we need safe, kind, warm, and protective environments.
And that, is something to think about.