Tag: bedtime

I Need a Vacation

It’s kind of strange to say this after almost four years of posting regularly no matter what, but I’m taking a vacation.

Life is busy right now. August is like that. I’m also trying to figure out how to juggle things this fall with the kids doing their studies online and my husband working from home.

So, give me a few weeks and I’ll be back to regularly posting. In the meantime, please check out the things I’ve posted over the last few years. I’d love to hear what you think. If you have any ideas or suggestions for future posts, please let me know.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. I really appreciate it!

Charlie’s Room: A Hiking Guide

Yet again, Charlie read the entry in the guide book out loud. “… beyond the footbridge, the trail descends, switching back and forth along the sides of the adjacent hills…”

Isaac smiled and looked down at the book they were reading as a bedtime story. He hadn’t read any of it, because Charlie was busy reading to himself, excited about the hike.

“…and then we get to the water fall. We’ll have a picnic there, right?” Charlie asked.

“That’s right. Now it’s time to go to bed.” Isaac put the book back into its place on the shelf.

“What?” Charlie sat up and looked down from his loft bed. “But we haven’t read a story yet. We always read a story.”

“We read the story of tomorrow’s hike,” Isaac said.

“That’s not the same thing.” Charlie crossed his arms. “Besides. I read that. You have to be the one who read the bedtime story. It’s the rules.”

“I don’t remember there being any bedtime story rules.” Isaac chuckled as he stood up.

“There’s rules, because that’s how we always do it. I won’t get to sleep without a bedtime story, and then I’ll be tired for the hike tomorrow.”

“It’s late,” Isaac said. “I’ll turn the light out and let you try to sleep. In a half hour, I’ll check on you. If you’re still awake, I’ll read you a few pages.”

“I’ll get to bed quicker if you read to me now.”

“We’ll see.” Isaac turned out the light and left the room. When he returned fifteen minutes later and peeked inside the room, Charlie was already asleep.

The next morning, Charlie was the first one awake. He ran around the house, filling the end of Isaac’s dreams with herds of elephants. As he’d been dreaming of building card towers, it was an odd way to end things.

Isaac shuffled down the hallway in his pajamas and looked at the bulging backpack Charlie was carrying looped over one shoulder. “It sounded like you were running a 5k inside the house. What did you put in your bag?”

“Stuff I’ll need.” Charlie held out the backpack, and Isaac looked inside.

“First aid kit, sunscreen, board game, towel, swimsuit, change of clothes…” He dug through the bag. “You won’t need all this for a day hike. We won’t be swimming, and there won’t be time for board games or card games or writing letters.”

“I was thinking maybe on the drive there…”

Isaac frowned. “You get car sick.”

“Fine, fine.” Charlie held out his arms for the back pack. “I’ll go through all this again. Are you sure we won’t go swimming?”

“It’s not safe to swim there.”

Charlie sighed and put his swimsuit, towel, and change of clothes in a pile. He added the games and the writing materials. “The guide doesn’t say all the stuff you can’t do.“

“Maybe there were too many things to mention.”

Charlie grinned. “Like baking cookies? Or going surfing?”

“Or playing golf or vacuuming or planting sunflowers…” Isaac added.

“Or petting dinosaurs or going ice skating or building a house…”

“Or forging a sword or piloting a UFO or traveling through time…”

Marianne shuffled into the living room, still in her pajamas. “Are you trying to pick a movie to watch? I thought we were going hiking today.” She looked down at the piles of things on the floor. “You know we can’t go swimming, right?”

“Or vacuuming or surfing,” Charlie said, kicking at the pile with his swimsuit. “The hiking guide wasn’t very helpful.”

“Vacuuming? Who would go vacuuming out in the woods?” Marianne shook her head. “I’m going to go get dressed. Can you clean up the stuff here?”

Charlie looked up at Isaac. “So what do I need to bring on a hike?”

“Am I your hiking guide now?”

“Well, you seem to know more about what I don’t need than the book did.”

“Honestly, I think you have most of what you need, except for the water and the picnic food. Let your mom and I take care of that.”

“Wow. I guess didn’t need a hiking guide.”

“Well, I think it made a nice bedtime story.”

Charlie frowned and zipped up his backpack. “No. I want a real story tonight.” He looped the bag over one shoulder and started picking up the piles of extra things.

Isaac picked up a few things to help put away. “Fair enough. We’ll save the hiking guide for special occasions.”

Charlie’s Room: Rules

It was summer vacation, so Charlie’s bedtime was a little later than during the school year. After a full day of working in the garden and playing at the park, Charlie was tired and a bit grumpy at bedtime. Unfortunately, as the sun set later and later, Charlie still went to bed while it was light outside.

“It’s not fair. It’s not dark yet. I don’t want to go to bed,” Charlie whined.

“We don’t go to bed by the sun, we go to bed by the clock,” Marianne answered.

Isaac nodded. “If we always went to bed by the sun, think of how early you’d have to go to bed in the winter.”

Charlie folded his arms across his chest and frowned. “I can’t fall asleep when it’s light out, so I may as well stay up.”

“Nice try,” Marianne said. “Go get your pajamas on and brush your teeth.”

Charlie looked at Isaac. Isaac made a shooing motion towards the hall. “Go on. Listen to your mother. You sound tired to me.”

“I’m not tired,” Charlie said loudly. He stomped down the hallway to get ready for bed.

Marianne sighed. “Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a fun parent with no rules, but then I think about what that would really look like, and I change my mind.”

“We are fun parents. We also have rules. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.” Isaac gave her a hug. “I think we’re doing a great job. Charlie is a good kid. He’s just tired. Sending him to bed is what he really needs. He just doesn’t understand that yet. So, as the people with the most life experience, it’s our job to help him out.”

Marianne laughed. “I do wish there was someone around to send me to bed when I’m tired. I guess it’s one of those things you don’t appreciate until you’re older.”

They checked on him and waited as he finished brushing his teeth. Then they said prayers and hugged him and sent him to bed. Isaac sat down to read a bedtime story.

“Now let’s see…” Isaac opened the book to the bookmark and started reading. At the end of the chapter, he closed the book.

Charlie sat up in bed. “Dad, did dinosaurs have rules like bedtimes?”

“Hmmmm.” Isaac put the book on the shelf. “I’m not sure. If they were like the animals around now, then I think so.”


“Remember the geese we saw in the fall?” Isaac glanced at the window and imagined the geese flying in a v-shape across the sky.

“The ones flying south? I guess they had rules. But bedtimes?”

“Animals have times they are awake or asleep. Some are only awake at night, like bats. Some are only awake in the day, like chickens. And some can be awake during both, like cats. I think that cats have to take lots of naps to do that.” Isaac shrugged.

Charlie frowned. “Hey. They go to bed by the sun and not the clock. That’s not fair.”

“They don’t have clocks. And it’s not surprising their rules are different than ours. They have different needs and values. Even people have different rules if they are in different countries or cities or neighborhoods or families.”

“But that’s not fair. I bet all the other kids my age are still up.” He pouted. “Why do I have to have a bedtime in the summer? I don’t have to get up in time for school.”

Isaac smiled. “That’s a good question. Your health is important to your mom and I. You’re still growing and need a lot of sleep. Keeping a routine helps you fall asleep easier and get more restful sleep. Besides, it makes it easier for you to work in the garden early with your mom while it’s still cool outside.”

Charlie flopped back on the bed. “I guess so. I still don’t think it’s fair.”

“When you are older, you can go to bed later if you want to.”

“When I’m a grown up, I’m never going to bed,” Charlie said. “I’ll stay up all night.”

Isaac laughed. “We’ll see.”

Charlie rolled to his side and looked at Isaac. “Dad, it’s hard to fall asleep when it’s light out.”

Isaac thought for a moment. “Have you tried imagining sheep jumping over a fence and counting each one as it jumps?”

Charlie was quiet for a moment. “I can’t do it. Does that really work?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never tried it.”


Isaac paused and tried to imagine sheep jumping over a fence. It was harder than he expected. “Okay, forget about the sheep.”

Charlie rolled his eyes. “So what do you do to fall asleep?”

“I tell myself stories. I imagine that I was there when something amazing happened in history. Or I imagine visiting places in stories I’ve read. Or I imagine what the future will be like.”

Charlie rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He was quiet for several minutes. “I can do that,” he said at last. “But I still think bedtimes are unfair.”

“Just wait until you’re older,” Isaac said.

“Good night, Dad.”

“Goodnight, Charlie. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

A Small Celebration for Seeing My Work in Print

I’m super excited that the New Era magazine published one of my cartoons.  And so, I’m posting about it to celebrate.  Hooray!  I grew up reading this magazine cover to cover and so it’s pretty exciting to see my name inside next to something I drew.  I think the younger me would have been impressed.

Here’s a link to the magazine online:



In other news, I was a guest comic for Comic Diaries yesterday.  Here’s a link to that post, too: