People ask me all the time the bedtime routine in our house.
[Just kidding, literally nobody has ever asked me about that outside of babysitters.]
The goal of any bedtime process is to transition the kids from the insanity of their days at school and on the playground towards a state where they may consider the possibility of relaxing for +/- 10 hours.
For us, that begins with chasing the monsters all over the house.
“If you don’t brush your teeth, you’ll get holes in them!”
That usually leads to giggles, the opposite of the intended reaction.
“If you don’t brush your teeth, you won’t get cookies in your lunch tomorrow!”
There, much better.
Teeth brushing, trip to the potty, get in pajamas – accomplishing any one of these with three kids 7-and-under is enough to get me ready to hit the hay.
After allllllllll of that is done, a maybe a book or three is read, it’s my favorite time.
Time for quiet snuggles.
The kids get under the covers, and I lay down beside them and scroll to the bedtime playlist on my phone. Note, “bedtime,” not “lullaby.”
It’s a long playlist, with soothing selections from Elton John, Loggins and Messina, Amos Lee, Ryan Adams, Tracy Chapman, Willie Nelson, and others.
The band with the largest representation on the list: Boyce Avenue.
One of the most successful “Internet Bands” ever, the Manzano brothers (Alejandro, Daniel, and Fabian) have – as of the time of writing – over 10 million subscribers on YouTube and over 3.4 BILLION total video views on the platform.
I first discovered them almost 10 years ago on iTunes – and vividly remember seeing a MySpace-sponsored interview with them while we were on our honeymoon in Thailand.
A few years later, my wife was shocked when their show at the iconic 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, was sold out. She thought I was their only fan!
But why are they so prominently featured on this bedtime mix? [Especially when they can ROCK HARD live?]
Because they transform pop and rock and R&B hits into beautiful acoustic masterpieces, overflowing with unplugged soul.
It’s important to me to raise my kids with REAL music in addition to kid songs, like, y’know, Baby Shark. My daughter was walking around the house humming “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and I just about fell over. She also has started writing songs, churning out 10 or so ballads in the past few weeks. The plan is working!
So every night, my kids and I have our quiet little time, lights dimmed, sometimes singing along quietly to iconic songs made a bit more accessible for the go-to-bed crowd.
And I watch them unsuccessfully fight against sleep once again, yawning big, eyes closing shut, starting to dream, thanks, in part, to Boyce Avenue.
Never heard of Boyce Avenue before? Here is your six-pack starter kit:
Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
Lights (Ellie Goulding)
One / Let It Be (mash-up) (U2/The Beatles)
Rolling In The Deep (Adele)