Sunday, October 12, 2014

Don't Blink

The house is quiet. Eerily, and mercifully, and wonderfully quiet.
The big boys are spending the night with their grandparents, and I can only assume based on past history that they are still awake and running wildly around their house, because it's way too exciting to sleep.
JT is in bed. He was up at 4:10 this morning to lifeguard a triathlon.

I just laid Greystoke into his crib, so fast asleep that his mouth was hanging open. You know, the good kind of asleep. The kind he didn't have much of today.

Today I think he slept 45 minutes all day.

My relaxed, self-soothing sleeper has, well, for lack of a better description- stopped sleeping.

And that's ok.
We've been trying to work on it. JT has been putting the other 2 to bed at night so that I could try to help Greystoke fall asleep in his crib without nursing, because I know that's why he has stopped sleeping. Nursing to sleep is just too lovely. This isn't my first rodeo. My baby boys like comfort. And an all night bar with their favorite ambiance and flavors is just too comfortable.
It started out just waking every 3 hours, and has moved to 2, and often every hour.

The "sleep training" or whatever I am doing, doesn't seem to be making much difference, and as usual is quite frustrating. I can spend an hour helping him fall asleep for a half hour nap.
There have been many tears, but I have not left his side, and most always my hand stays on his back. But tonight, when I picked him up and saw how his face was blotchy from crying, and a little trickle of snot ran down his nose, and his face just lit up when I smiled at him...I couldn't do it anymore.

I picked him up and gave him what he wanted. Some might argue, even what he needed.

I'm typing with 1 hand now because, after 15 minutes he is already awake again.
Is he teething? Does his tummy hurt, is he overtired? Or did he just wake up one day and realize that he's not just an extension of me. That we can be separated. Does he just want to be closer to me, especially during the long quiet night hours when my arms are empty and there are no interruptions?

I don't know.
And what's weird is, I take great comfort in that answer because I don't have to know.
And I don't have to take control over the situation, and I can try to improve it but I don't have to worry about it, because like all things parenting has taught me- sometimes the best thing I can do is just ride it out, and pray for God's strength to bloom in perhaps less than perfect conditions.

This probably sounds morbid, but I was thinking the other day about how I would handle the loss of one of my children, or my husband, and I thought how I should like to respond as Job did by praising The Lord for what He gave, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. May the Name of the Lord be praised."

What peace that would be. What a calm anchor in the storm.

And it struck me, as I struggled through sleepy eyes and foggy brain to keep up with the 100 miles an hour of the other 2 boys, that it's the way I respond to the little things that will determine how I am able to respond to the big.

And so, tonight, I'm confessing with my mouth: the Lord gave me 3 blessed months of sleep with my 3rd born. I felt rested for the first time in 6 years. My mind felt clear and bright and I felt calm and capable and not completely overwhelmed.

And now the Lord has taken my sleep away, and He has a good reason to do so, and it's going to be more than fine. It's going to be great.

Because yeah, I wish I had more patience. But having patience with your little boys when you are well rested and have a pretty naturally laid back personality anyway- I could almost do that on my own.
Patience when you haven't had a full REM cycle in weeks, that takes supernatural power,

And he's so little, and so sweet. And some day these few nights will seem like a drop in the bucket, and I won't even remember th way he felt in my arms all night, but I'll remember that I loved him and nurtured him with all I had, and I'll be glad for it.

We had our first taste of fall last Sunday, and it made me so excited for the season to come, even in the busyness of it all.

Sometimes I feel a touch of panic, like I'll never catch up, and then I'll remember how this season of babyhood is one of the hardest, even in its happiness.
Somehow the first few months, I feel sheltered from doing it all, I let it slip and I don't mind. But by 5 months I feel like I should be getting a handle on things, but there's no handle at all.

There's just mounds and mounds of laundry and the dishwasher is always running, and no one is sleeping, and the baby is moving around a bit, and the older ones are starting to think this whole baby thing is overrated, because Mom is always busy and tired.

And that part is hard. So I've just been trying to be in the moment, and I'm trying to take a lot of moments. Not when the housework is done because, let's face it, it will never ever be done again.
But just deep breaths, answer the million questions from the 6 year old, and give a million bandaids to the 3 year old, and kiss the drooly cheeks of the 5 month old- in the moment.
The days go by in a blur, and I hit the pillow after kissing everyone goodnight, and I wonder if I did ok, and I know that I messed up a lot of things, and that I did a lot of things right, and that God's going to weave it all together into a work of art, and I'm so so grateful for His grace in that, and I hope that I've shown that kind of grace to my family, and everyone I've come in contact with today.

And now, somehow, it has gotten late again.

And the sweet little mouse with no hair who never sleeps is resting in my lap after I tried to set him down twice while writing this.
and I suppose you could say he's spoiled, but he'll be forced into the cold world with nothing but a mattress to drool on in what will feel like minutes, really.
And I pray he'll look up, and that somehow God will weave these quiet moments in my arms into a part of his what he understands about Love, and that he will know he is Loved, not because he is convenient, or because it is easy, but because God has made him, and can't help but love him.
I heard a song from a long way back the other day, and at night time, it's been running through my head lately:
"Don't blink.
Just like that, you're six years old and you take a nap...
And you wake up and you're 25 and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife.
Don't blink- you just might miss your babies growing like mine did-
Turning into moms and dads...
Next thing you know, your better half of 50 years is there in bed, and you're praying God takes you instead."
"Trust me son, 100 years goes faster than you think.
So don't blink."
-Kenny Chesney

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