My image of serenity is of someone sleeping. Not just anyone sleeping; my young son. Rarely he moves fitfully in his sleep, but usually he is calm, his face relaxed.

What a contrast to thirty minutes earlier! In the lead-up to bedtime he is an Agent of Chaos. Looney Tunes’ Baby Taz has nothing on him. Whirling between twenty different activities in the space of three minutes he leaves hundreds* of discarded toys in his wake.

In the absence of language it’s an alternative way of expressing himself.


Then bedtime itself. Sometimes we’re lucky. He’s tired and happy to go to his room. Other times there are tears and rebellion.

Thankfully, shortly after he lies down – Serenity. The house is at peace… for the next three hours at least.

* Okay, maybe not hundreds.