Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On when doing what's best for them might break your heart

I have never ever gotten out of bed to blog in the middle of the night before. But right now I just have to remember how I'm feeling.

Sitting here in the nursery rocking chair with tears streaming down my face and a true revelation of love for my babies absolutely gripping my heart.

I've been in "prepare for baby's arrival" mode for a while now, but especially in these last few weeks I am trying to also prepare Drew. There are things he can do for himself but he won't if he knows he can get me to do them for him. Things like, putting on his shoes, dressing himself, and sometimes he even will still want to just let me feed him. But the biggest one is probably that he has always had trouble falling asleep on his own. With him being my first, I have always rocked him or laid down with him. (He is a snuggle bug and I love it and I just can't resist it) When my belly got too big for me to rock him to sleep for his naps, he opted out of nap time instead of learning to go to sleep on his own. And now that him and Isaiah share a room and a bed at night time I will still lay down between them for a few minutes til they're both sleeping soundly. And if he wakes up in the middle of the night scared or crying, it's been the norm for me to crawl back in between them and hold him while I wait for him to fall back to sleep.

I know that when the baby comes I can't do this, I will need my sleep. I also know it's good for him to learn to comfort himself and fall back asleep on his own. And so for the past few nights I've refused to get into his bed, instead I stand alongside him and pray for protection and peace and rest, I rub his back for a minute or two and tell him I love him and tuck him into his covers with his favorite little puppy stuffed animals. And I walk out. Even if he is holding back tears and asking me to stay. And last night, for the first time, it worked. He fell back asleep on his own. I was cheering and celebrating in the morning, so proud of him and so happy that this will hopefully be another item "checked off the list" before baby boy number three joins us.

So just a little bit ago he woke up crying and ran to our room calling my name. I carried him back to bed and began my new routine. I laid him down, I prayed, and I began to rub his back for a minute. And as I rubbed his back is when this overwhelming thought occurred to me. Yes, we are making progress. And it's good. Good for him and me both. But this means that eventually, those little feet might not pound down the hallway in the middle of the night searching for me. Eventually, he won't ask me to lay with him anymore. Eventually, "snuggling with mommy" before he goes to sleep won't be his norm anymore. And I stood there and rubbed that tiny little back and my tears overwhelmed me and fell silently down my face as I resisted the urge to crawl into his bed with him just one more time, because I know this is good for him. And I thought about how a few nights ago might have been the last night I would snuggle him back to sleep in the middle of the night. And let me tell you, it's really hard on a mama's heart to think about the "lasts".....

The past few nights I've been so focused on accomplishing the goal I have impatiently shifted from one foot to the other as I prayed he would fall back asleep without me. I have sought my own comfort, couldn't wait to go back to bed myself, and thought only of how this will benefit us all in a few short weeks. Tonight I was struck with the finality of change, I remembered to soak in the moment, and suddenly I didn't care that I was losing sleep in the middle of the night, or hope desperately that he would fall back asleep on his own. (obviously he did or I wouldn't be able to be up writing this all down) I just wanted to stand by his bedside in the middle of the night and pray my heart out that he will know how much I love him. I wanted to remember how tiny his little back felt as I rubbed it, how my hand can still stretch from one side to the other and still cover him. How he curls up on his side and tucks his hands in by his face while he falls asleep. How he felt in my arms as I carried him back to bed. How for right now, he is still my baby. But every day he is growing, growing into a little boy, eventually to become a man.

And so here I sit, computer screen blurry from my crying, losing more sleep still, knowing that I am doing the right thing for him but changing my attitude from one of "accomplish the goal" to one of "love deeply along the way." What a difference. What a difference.

And it occurs to me that as I stand quietly next to my children as they go through sometimes "hard for them" adjustments in life and I cry and pray and they never know it, what is my Father God doing as he stands with me along the way? I imagine there are times His heart is breaking as he lets me grow, though it is hard, and maybe He cries with me and I never know it.

And I cannot get my tears to stop.

I think sometimes it is a good thing to let your heart break for something worthwhile. A very good thing.

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