Since the holiday traveling ended, Sprout has had some sleep issues. I can’t pinpoint a single specific cause, there is just so much going on right now. I think it is a combination of teething, natural sleep regression, and separation anxiety possibly spurred by our travels. Whatever the cause, she has been up more during the night over the last few weeks than she ever was as a newborn.
I have been attempting to balance patience while instilling new sleep training with mercy in getting through genuine teething pain and discomfort. I’ve felt guilty, at times, of being too harsh with her. And then other nights, I feel like I have done her a disservice by letting the training take a back seat. I have cried tears of frustration and anxiety, wondering if I’m doing the right thing or just making everything worse.
But you know, sleeplessness will do that to you.
The Redemptive Story
This morning, after a night of fewer, but still many, wakings, I brought Sprout to our bed with me. I knew she would not go back to sleep, but I just needed to close my eyes a few more minutes. [I should say here that she was safe, could not fall off the bed. Also, I’ve never been able to sleep with her in bed with me, so I did not fear that I would inadvertently doze off and leave her “unattended” on the bed.]
She babbled and rolled from me to the wall, and back again. She laughed and chewed her pacifier. Then she grew quiet, and I felt her scoot towards my head. She was close enough for me to smell her sweet milky breath.
Then, she blessed her mama with the gentlest kiss in all the world. I opened my eyes just in time to see her smile softly. And then she rolled back toward the wall, mumbling about “bad-oh” again.
My eyes filled with tears as my heart puddled in my chest. I stroked her soft hair and kissed her forehead before she had the chance to scoot away. And I thanked God for her right then.
God’s Love in One, Sweet Kiss
This little kiss means more to me than that darling girl could ever know (at least until she has her own little darling, perhaps). In one swift moment, I was reminded of so much.
Every minute spent rocking the teething pain away is a deposit in her love-bank. Every hour I don’t sleep is an investment in her. Every step back to her room to return a thrown pacifier or enforce training is a step of love. Every lullaby-hymn at 2 AM is sung right into her soul, laying a foundation for her to someday know the sacrifice and love and mercy and grace wrapped up in the Cross.
Now, I am wondering… how many minutes has God spent soothing my pain? How many hours has He invested in my life? How many steps has He taken to enforce discipline in my life, with love and mercy and grace? How many reminders has He given me of His ultimate sacrifice and what that means for my future beyond this earthly existence?
I cannot count them.
And now I pray that God’s mercy and grace and love would flow through me to her. I pray that God would give me strength and diligence to thrive in what is only the beginning of Parenthood.
I pray with a bursting heart of thanksgiving, adoration, and awe for this little life.