Sarah squinted and rubbed her eyes. The kitchen was bright compared to the pale moonlight glow in her bedroom.
Nancy, Sarah’s sitter, was at the kitchen table doing her homework. She stopped writing when she saw Sarah standing in the doorway. “What’s the matter, honey?” she asked. Nancy put her pen down on the table and held out her arms to Sarah.
“I can’t go to sleep,” Sarah said.
“Oh, dear, that is a problem!” Nancy sympathized. “Is anything wrong?”
“Not really,” Sarah answered. “I said my prayers, but now I can’t go to sleep.”
“That happens to me sometimes, too,” Nancy said. “Would you like a drink of milk?”
Sarah nodded, so Nancy poured her a small glassful. Then she sat down at the table with Sarah.
“You know, Sarah, there are some little tricks you can use to help you get to sleep. Some people count sheep. Other people read a book until they get sleepy. Just thinking happy thoughts helps some people go to sleep.”
“Happy thoughts?” questioned Sarah.
“Yes,” explained Nancy. “They think about something good that happened that day. Or they think about a special friend or about something nice that someone did for them. They might even think about a pretty picture they once saw or about a certain place they would like to visit—things like that. Do you understand?”
Sarah nodded, but she didn’t say anything. She was thinking.
Nancy went on, “When I have trouble sleeping after I say my prayers, do you know what I do? I relax different parts of my body—one part at a time—and before I know it, it’s morning and time to get all those parts up again!”
Sarah giggled. “Maybe I’ll look at one of my picture books,” she said.
“That’s a good idea,” Nancy agreed. “Or you can think of a pretty picture to draw tomorrow for your mom and dad.”
“OK!” Sarah smiled; she wasn’t worried anymore. She finished her milk and kissed Nancy on the cheek.
Nancy said, “Sleep well, Sarah.”
Sarah didn’t bother getting a book down from her shelf. She knew how she was going to put herself to sleep.
She climbed into bed, closed her eyes, and began singing softly to herself. She started with “A Happy Family.” Then she hummed “I Thank Thee, Dear Father.” “I Am a Child of God” was next, but by the time she got to the second verse, she was fast asleep.