So I took a nap with Little Man this afternoon. It's become our Sunday routine.
I realize that these days won't last forever and I try to enjoy it while I can. On weekdays he naps in his own bed. Rather willingly, I might add. But when all of the troops are home on the weekend, he has a hard time settling down. Imagine that.
Someday he won't be willing to lie down beside me and let me rub his back until his heavy eyelids finally fall shut.
It's lovely, really.
With the older seven I didn't have time for naps. Any naps I did manage to sneak were while lying on the living room couch with a movie on and kids climbing all over me. (sigh)
I kinda miss that. Not.
Now the older kids are old enough they can entertain themselves, read, work on homework, play on the Wii or run around outside during naptime on Sunday. Leaving me to take a REAL nap. Now that I don't need it nearly as badly as I used to.
Little Man was so tired, today, that it took him awhile to get settled. The blanket wasn't soft enough. His foot hurt. He wanted milk. He didn't want milk. You get the idea.
As a younger mother, these things would have annoyed me. OK. Last week they annoyed me. But I really WANT to be filled with God's grace. To approach any "irritation" (mothering can be virtually ALL irritation on some days) with more of a grace filled response.
Today? I was able to comfort him and not worry about how long it would take him to fall asleep or how soon someone would need me and come in to wake us both up in the process.
I'm learning (I hope) that so much of mothering is just comforting and loving and letting things work themselves out.
Not to say that training and teaching and correcting and disciplining aren't huge.
But so much of what I get worked up about isn't WORTH getting worked up about. I've taught my kids to respond too quickly, with too much frustration, to things that really don't matter in the long run. They've become much more like their mother than their laid-back "it is what it is" father.
So I'm trying something new. I read that Amy Carmichael offered "short" prayers in time of difficulty (I'm not suggesting that having someone step on your bare toes with their cowboy boots every morning while there are 8 people in the kitchen making lunches is a true difficulty. . . but BOY it annoys me!).
"Your love, Lord."
"Your grace, Lord."
"Your patience, Lord."
He's answering. I know I won't change overnight.
But I know that one moment at a time. . . one irritation at a time. . . one interrupted nap, one squashed toe, one spilled cup of lemonade or stain on the carpet at a time. . . I'm learning.
And since I had that nap with Little Man? I'm not tired. A bit.
So what to do, now?
Take a sleeping pill and catch up on some sleep ?
. . .That might make me groggy in the morning, though.
Go to bed and read until I'm tired?
. . . Finished my new Francine Rivers, book, already.
Work on my BSF lesson?
. . . OK. START my BSF lesson.
Stay up and balance the check book?
. . . For the month of June, July and August, anyway.
Fold seven loads of laundry while watching "Keeping Up Appearances?"
. . . What would I do, tomorrow, then?
I can't decide.
But if, in the meantime, someone needs help going potty while half asleep, starts sleepwalking (we have several who have that habit) or crying because of a bad dream. . . remembers something they need for tomorrow. . . or asks me to sing them ONE MORE SONG. . .
"Thy patience, Lord."