I hear her crying for Mommy and stumble out of bed. A quick rock and back rub and I’ll be back in the arms of morpheus. She kicks her legs, wiggles in my arms, restless yet tired. I’m glad I don’t know how long I’ve been rocking. She can’t settle … Her eyes closed, body tired, but a restless spirit caught hold of her. I can relate, just last week I woke up feeling so antsy…. sleepy in spirit but the body wanted to move… kick those legs, turn over, turn over….
The dilemma… let her cry it out? She’ll fall asleep out of exhaustion, face wet with tears, voice hoarse from calling Mommy, head all sweaty…
I cave… and trundle her back to our bed. Is it caving though? I see it more clearly with this my probable last child. The time is so short…. before long they’re grown. This terrible capitulation will certainly not result in a ten year old needing Mommy every night. I remember the others. The older ones all sleep well through the night… usually. Why quell the Mommy instinct… why push an almost 2 yr old to fend for herself with those twitchy itchy restless legs of hers?
She settles in tight between Daddy and me. Legs still, the breathing gets deeper. Then, boom, boom, boom…. footsteps hurtle down the hall way and the second youngest launches himself into our bed. He burrows under the blanket and my hand feels his pounding heart. “Bad dream?” I whisper. “Yes,” he sighs as he falls asleep. There I lie, wide awake, surrounded by love, and I know the morning will be rough, but these times too will pass. And I think to myself, parenting isn’t what really works for you, but what works for your children. It’s ultimately about sacrifice and isn’t that, in the end, the story of Redemption? It’s what doesn’t come naturally to us, self-sacrifice, but it’s what He did willingly- sacrificed Himself for His people.