Sunday, April 22, 2012

On Sleep (listening to those wiser than ourselves)

I've been writing about sleep, which you can read about here and here

It's nearing 9pm and my eyes are closing on me as I type, when they think I'm not watching.  It was one of those weekends filled with activities and not much rest.  The kind of weekend you could use another weekend to recover from.  But tomorrow is Monday anyway.

When I start to pity myself I find looking to others is a good remedy.  Sometimes I do this with body image.  Sometimes I do this with sleep (and lack thereof).  I really appreciate hearing from the seasoned mothers, the ones with grown children who have their own now, the ones with white hair and precious wrinkles.  My Aussie "Nana" recalls her five years of very interrupted sleep, between her two children, and I look at them now loving their own families so tenderly and I feel peaceful that it's worth it, that these years will go by.  Another friend tells me how her husband would sit in the dark with his daughter in 45 minutes of silence, assume she had fallen asleep and crawl quietly out of the room only to hear her voice call out 'Dad?'  when a floorboard would creak.

Sometimes I nurse and rock my one year old to sleep and wonder if this is my fate in the old wicker chair, shouldn't he be able to tuck himself in to bed on his own by now?  And then I think of my dad, every evening laying down next to my brother, adopted into our family with special emotional needs, four fourteen years.  Fourteen years.  How many evening conversations, or TV shows, or opportunities to read a good book did he sacrifice?  But my brother felt safe enough to fall asleep, and that was my dad's priority completely.  I can't ever remember hearing my dad complain.

I will look back on this someday, I will comfort the new mother and tell her she is radiant even with bags under her eyes.  I will let my love muscles be worked hard, that they grow strong, that there is more love to be given outside of my home and family.  I will love the smallest and the least who are closest to me, that I might be able to love those I've yet to meet.  My children demand a lot from me right now, but this is it.  This is our life together and this is my key opportunity to reflect even a glimpse of God's steadfast, faithful, I'll be awake with you all night if you need me, kind of Love.

I wouldn't trade sleep for these children, that's for sure.    

1 comment:

  1. Becca, i just read this post today. Brings tears to my eyes. Oh how many opportunities there are in our lives to love. To learn to love. To decide to love. Love truly is an unselfish act. It's about giving to another. But you know what I think is interesting? When we choose to love another, we become a better person. So, in essence, loving another has the effect of us loving on ourselves/investing in ourselves. That's why you're such a beautiful person Becca. <3