Sweet Sleeping Little One

Sweet sleeping little one

Is the day already done?

Though some of the minutes seemed rather long,

The hours really and truly sped along

Now here I am, watching you sleep

Until out of your room I will creep

Quietly, downstairs, to sit and wonder

Did I act wisely, or make a blunder?

For your sweet frame, which finally does rest

Certainly did put my patience to the test

I wanted your bedtime to be peaceful and quiet

Instead, you put up a fuss and made quite a riot

Why couldn’t you give in?  Why the struggle?

How were you not calmed by our long, cozy snuggle?

So overtired were you, for too many days

You just couldn’t stay in control of all of your ways

You are only three, after all, so little, still learning

And yet the blood within me was burning

I freely admit, I was mad and upset

And I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t just let

Yourself calm down, and rest, and close your eyes…

But am I really that quick to realize

When it’s time for me to let others make my load light?

Or do I resist, and complain, and put up a fight?

As a mother, I’m always trying to find that place

Between being firm and lavishing grace

Both need to be present, both need to be strong

So I’m constantly asking God to help me along

For so often I feel like I make one mistake after another

And that shortcomings and failures mount up in this mother

Yet every time we have a struggle like this

You still hug me, still give me a kiss

What kind of love is this, dear little one?

You forgive and forget, when all is said and done

I almost want to wake you, to set things right, now

But deep slumber for you, I must and will allow

Now I pray that tomorrow brings a fresh start

And that tonight’s sleep renews both of our hearts.

There have been many bedtimes for both of my children that have felt more like raging storms than gently rocking waves.  Tonight was one of the stormy ones.  Both Little A and I were overtired.  It’s amazing how having Mommy get sick for a few days really throws everyone off a bit.  

I could see the exhaustion in her face, and hear it in her cries…yet she wouldn’t just let herself give in and rest.  As frustrating as it was to watch–and try to correct–I realized I’m not the best example for her to follow.

How many times has help been given to me, and I’ve resisted, or responded with hurt pride, indignance, or grumbling?  How many times have I passed up a moment to pray, or to read an encouraging word, only to act with impatience a moment later?  

Nights like this one humble me, renew my patience, and grow my love, as I see so much of my fallen self in my children’s hearts.  May each of us remember that a life of abundant love and grace is there for us, if only we will open our hearts to receive it, from Jesus himself.

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4 comments

  1. Lovely parenthood poem! Children teach us so much… it sounds like you are a good mother and a good student.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Thank you, and I hope I am both a good learner and a good teacher. I want to be at the feet of Jesus, and to show my children how to rest, learn, and enjoy to be there, too!

  2. That is a wonderful poem, Alison. I can relate. Those little dears sure can try our patience. Children are resilient, and I suspect today was a good day for both of you. I love your outlook, your optimism, and your faith.

    1. Thank you. Yes, a good night of sleep helped both of us a lot. The age of 3 has proven to be most challenging for both of my children. I know each age brings new struggles, and that the pitfalls get bigger, so I’m hoping to keep the right perspective. It’s easy to get lost in the details sometimes!

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