Hubby was out of town, I was propped up in bed reading The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, by Gary Chapman. My son was already asleep, and my daughter came into my room holding a pillow and smiling with a “Please, can I?” look on her face.

I was exhausted from a day of substitute teaching at the high school, emotionally drained from a run-in with two mannerless, disrespectful boys at the school, restless from chauffeuring throughout the day, and bummed because I had not talked to Hubby. All I wanted was to tell her goodnight, turn the light off, and delight in a good eight hours of sleep.

But there was that sweet, 16-year-old “please” face staring at me. I knew what that meant. Pillow talk with my “little” girl well into the night. If I had even considered saying no, that thought melted away as I contemplated the words I had just read in the book I was holding, “Deep within the soul of the teenager is the desire to feel connected, accepted, and nurtured by parents. When this happens, the teenager feels loved.”

So she crawled in bed and the connecting, accepting and nurturing began…for both of us!

At midnight I recall uttering, “We really need to stop talking and get some sleep,” which I repeated at 1:00 a.m. Finally at 1:52, I heard her soft breathing and thanked God for the gift of a daughter who I have a close relationship with and who contemplates His ways.

I even thanked Him for sleepless nights. (Yawn.)

In that moment, I recognized that in the last four hours I had done more good listening and sorting through with my emerging young lady than I could have hoped for in the next month through our chit chats during the busy days of life.

Whether it’s through a late-night discussion, a late-night illness, or a crying baby, God has given us the privilege as moms to love and nurture our children into the knowledge of Him.

What a privilege, albeit a sleepy one.