Last night after our three little boys were all changed into their jammies with teeth brushed, stories read, stuffed puppies in the crooks of their arms and tucked under covers in one room, and wrapped in a fleecey blanket and laid gently in a crib in the other room, Shaun and I had a date. One of our goals this year is a monthly date night, last night was to be it, it snowed, so our date was staying up late watching a movie together. We watched October Baby. If you haven't seen it, you should.
It left my heart wide open and feeling such deep things last night. I wanted to write then, but Jaden roused from his sleep, his little wimpers called for me, and so I spent the time that would've been given to writing snuggled together nursing him back to sleep between the flannel sheets of our bed. I held him and I stayed in that place of awareness so strong it's almost tangible.
The movie is about a girl who finds out at age 19 that her parents are not her biological parents, and that she was the result of a failed abortion attempt and was born at 24 weeks gestation. Without knowing anything about the way her life began until 19 years of age, she was deeply, deeply affected by the way she came into the world. Feelings of being unwanted, feelings of thinking she should have been dead, feelings like she was drowning, anxiety, nightmares, etc were part of her daily life only she didn't know why. All that to say, my thoughts turned to the way our childhoods affect us, even the parts we can't remember or may never know about. And that thought of course led to the way I love my boys, the way their childhoods will one day be part of who they become.
You know, it's so easy to be selfish. Just this past week I kept thinking how I am so over Jaden waking in the night still (he's 15 months) and how desperately I just want a full nights sleep. That's just one example, there are so many more moments of thinking selfish thoughts in motherhood. But last night my brain did a 180. Oh my goodness, to put selfishness to death in me. To pour out for them. To be alive to serve. To be alive to love. To give until it hurts. To have them know they are wanted. To make sure they know they matter. To see the way they react to their emotions in their immaturity, and instead of being angry, instead of dismissing their feelings, to get down there on their level and tell them that what they feel matters to me. No matter how immature. And then, because you love them so, teach them that although what they are feeling is the very rhythm that causes your heart to beat, you love them so much that you want them to learn to live a life that is not dictated by their feelings, but by their relationship with Jesus. To teach them to take those emotions to the Father that created them, to sort them out while sitting in His lap, and to listen to His voice that will tell them where to go from there.
And I held Jaden there against me and his sweet baby presence was worth far more than those twenty minutes of sleep I was missing. The tears slipped down, I kissed his soft blonde head over and over, and I vowed to make sure, absolutely sure, that my boys know how much they matter to me.