Thursday, December 16, 2010

A cry in the night...

It is 12:30 AM, a bare hour after I have fallen asleep. The cry is sharp and unrelenting, the kind that won't stop without intervention. The intervention, is, of course, mama.

We get up, warm the bottle, and I send Mark back to bed while I cuddle my boy. He lays his head on my chest, drowsily clutching his woobie. He drinks, he sleeps. I lay him back down and stumble back to bed.

It is 1:30. She is next to me. "MAMA!". She is scared. I lead her back to bed. She insists that her pj's are bugging her. I remove the pj's, redress her, and order her to go back to sleep.

I take a handful of motrin, go back to bed.

It is 3:30. She is next to me. "MAMA, where is St.Mary?" Her statue that she prays to when she wakes up in the night. She has left it next to me on her last trip in. I pick it up, take her back to bed where I threaten to return all of her Christmas gifts if she wakes me one more time. I am only half joking.

I go back to bed.

I lay there, seething. Why? Why do they have to wake me up? Why can I not just get ONE NIGHTS SLEEP!? And why does my throat still hurt? And why is it so cold in here?

And then, I stop.

I am in a warm bed. My husband is beside me. Granted he is snoring like a howitzer, but he is there. My children are healthy, if not good sleepers.

And it all changes in a blink. I think about how one day I will be sitting on the couch, coffee in hand, waiting for them to get up. How I will struggle not to reach out and fix her hair or straighten his shirt. How I will miss all of these small things- bathing them, feeding them, wiping their tears. It won't be like this forever. They won't be little and they won't wake up and want me.

I thought of all of this, lying there. I thought of God, and I smiled as I changed my complaining to praise. I thanked him for every whimper and every disturbance.

And like an arrow cast into my mind I heard- "Every cry in the night is a victory for you as a mother. It means your children know they will be answered."

Like I never knew.

It means I have crossed the divide between what I was shown and what I will live. I have soaked in the great grace of God and am parenting from a place of faith and grace, not from a place of conditioning. I have learned at the feet of the One.

Because when I cry out in the night, He answers. And until my children can put their own face on God, I am it. I am responsible to show them who He is.

The cries in the night will come. And I will come to them and carry them out of the dark. I will hold them until their fear is gone. I will comfort and shelter.

Just as He does for me.