November 20, 2012

a night marked by motherhood


The clock reads 2:30am as I stumble into the littlest's room for his first feeding.  A bit earlier than most nights, but I quickly feed him.  Perhaps he is beginning (another) growth spurt.  I secretly treasure these mid-night feedings because I know that one day they will end and these tender moments will be only a fond memory.

I'm not back in bed two seconds when I hear the coughing from the big boy's room.  And again.  And again.  I sneak in his room to mother him and give him a drink of water, but he's out cold.  Dead asleep to the world, yet coughing enough to keep his concerned Mama awake.  I elevated his sleeping head and even broke the cardinal rule and tried to wake him enough to take a drink.  No luck, and the coughing didn't stop.

Somewhere in the middle of the next two hours of coughing, the littlest needed the pacifier returned.  I hear the heavy breathing of my husband beside me, but my sleep is continually interrupted by my needy children.  And I think, this is motherhood.

I remember as a child, being sick and yelling for my own mother to get me a cup of water and knowing that that is what Mamas do for their sick kids.  They work around the clock.  Serve when they feel they have nothing left.  There is nothing better than the comfort of a Mama when you are a sick kid.  The rubbing of backs and the singing of soft songs.  Soaking up the sleepy snuggles of squishy children.  The mark of motherhood.

In the moments I once would have felt frustrated and entitled to a nights rest, I find myself feeling differently.  Maybe counting my thanks each day is doing something deeper.

Somehow, even though I am exhausted from lack of sleep and monitoring runny noses and sore throats, I find a sense of gratitude in these sick moments.  I feel like a mother.  I am meeting my kids needs in a tangible way and it is a blessing to do so.  I gladly wipe the noses and bring the cups of water and rub the backs of my restless boys.  Thank you Lord for this gratitude.

At 4:45am the littlest needs to eat. Again.  And so he does.  As I return to bed my husband's alarm rings and I think this morning has come too soon.  But my night wasn't wasted.

I think that naps all around are needed on a day like today.

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