Thursday, December 1, 2011

grace in the quiet and in the din.

maggie is teething.  two massively huge front top teeth.

it's been tough on all of us, though i certainly can't suggest that it's been any harder on anyone else than her. except for the fact that she gets a lot more sleep than anyone else in this house, but she also doubles her height every year, so there you go. i'm not doing that anymore. that takes energy. so does learning to stand on her own and make sounds that seem like words.

the past few nights, she wakes up a few hours into her night (around the time when we're going to bed) and refuses to sleep in her crib again. she's whining and whimpering and crying in her sleep as we hold her--she's clearly in pain.  meds don't really seem to help much, so we've just stopped because it seemed like she's been getting them for too long and maybe needed a break.

so last night, though resigned to the co-sleeping deal that keeps both of us asleep for more than just an hour or so, i asked brent if he could give her a blessing.  this is a girl who likes her sleep and actually likes her crib.  her sleep has been crazy since the teeth started again and since the crawling and exponential skill development started in earnest and since who knows what all has started, but this is on a whole other level.

so he did. and as he did, he told her that the angels would come and comfort her.  when he said that, a thought came clearly to my mind: "YOU are one of those angels."

i'd been praying earlier about what to do, about whether or not letting her sleep with me was the right thing to do. i don't want to create a monster, a pattern that makes her less apt to sleep on her own.  so as i was holding her, torn and wondering what to do, praying out loud as she slept, surprisingly restfully in my arms, earlier that night, i felt totally unclear about what to do. i had this cacophony of voices in my head: "as long as you don't make it a habit, that works i guess" was one voice, along with every thing i'd read about being consistent and everything else that the experts a few of us moms have accurately dubbed "the sleep nazis" say about babies and sleep. 

in my prayer, i said i just wanted to do what was right for her. whatever it was, i would do it, even if it was hard.  there wasn't a question of "i don't want to sleep with her; i want to sleep in my own bed." quite frankly, if i knew that she would sleep well, i'd sleep standing on my head singing the star spangled banner (you know, if i could).  that wasn't part of this, though i suppose on another night it might have been.

so when i felt that impression come as brent was giving maggie a blessing, it was my answer.

it was a new perspective. i often pray for maggie to be surrounded by angels, to comfort and bless her and keep her safe.  it never once--never ONCE--occurred to me that i might be one of those angels. 


well, beyond the ridiculously flawedness of me, i think it's because i'm here every day. i do things every day.  there's a lot of the mundane in our days. we do the same things. we have a pattern, a routine. sometimes we mix it up with a trip here or there or, on a nice day, a walk in the sunshine. but pretty much we play in the living room, we eat, we sing songs and take naps, we change diapers and we clean faces and the TV is on too much because mommy needs to have some distraction. 

it never occurred to me that in those moments when she needs me--really needs me--that i am the angel that i pray for. 

but a few minutes after the blessing was done, and maggie was now asleep contentedly on her daddy's chest, he whispered: "you're one of those angels, you know."

and i said i did.

and now i do.  a flawed one for sure, but one grateful for the opportunity to comfort her in any way that i can. 

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