I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase, "never wake a sleeping baby." In this house, we pretty much live by that standard even if it means giving up something that I was planning to do. Honestly, it's for my own sanity and not much is worse than Jake's mood after waking up "poorly" from a nap. To put it nicely, he's a grouch. Naptime is a glorious thing around here. Surprisingly, since day one, both kids tend to sleep during the same time each afternoon so I actually get a few minutes of quiet here and there. Granted, it comes with a side of stress as I am constantly aware that my coveted quiet time could come to an end at any moment. And I have to be very careful with my mood when they wake up. I find that at times I get frustrated that they wake up too soon, when I'm in the middle of something, as if it's their fault. It's terrible really, and I try my best to remind myself that they aren't on my schedule, but I should be sensitive to theirs. And then again, I remind myself that this time is not my own anyway, but time that God is lending to me for awhile, as I mentioned in my post about being busy. My children are precious, asleep or awake, and I just have to remember that some women would give their left arm to have what we have and love them both as if I could lose them at any moment.
On a trip to North Carolina, I looked back at Jake who was sleeping in his carseat. We had had a truly rough day. The trip should have been about seven hours total and we were well into hour ten. We had already gotten a speeding ticket, two diaper blow-outs from Lilly, and our GPS got us lost on back roads that were unpaved and one-lane wide. Because they were windy, Jake had gotten car sick twice and there was no where to stop to clean him up other than the side of the road in the freezing cold. At one point I began laughing hysterically (I'm pretty sure it was when we got lost) and Josh probably thought that I was losing it. Truth is, I kind of was losing it. My only other option was to cry, so laughing seemed appropriate. The best part was when Josh asked me to grab the Atlas from the back of the car. It wasn't until I had it open that I realized how absurd this request was... surely an unpaved road in Deliverance would not be in the national Atlas... and it wasn't. But I digress...
As I looked back at my sweet baby boy, eyes closed, mouth agape, I said, almost to myself, "He's so beautiful." Yes, boys can be beautiful. They grow up to be handsome, but as toddlers, their sweet little features like long eyelashes, chubby cheeks, and pouty lips make "beautiful" a more appropriate word. "You always say that when he's sleeping," Josh replied with a little laugh. Hmm... I hadn't thought of that before, but he was right. And come to think of it, I say that to myself every time I stare at one of my children while they are sleeping. As busy as Jake is, when he is sleeping it's the only time I really get to look at him. Sure, I see him all day long, but when he is asleep, he's finally still enough for me to study every feature of his face, the face that I helped make. And more than just realizing that he truly is a beautiful boy, I realize how in awe of him I am. Of how he is the product of something we created. He and Lilly are by far the two greatest things I have ever done, and that, my friends, is beautiful to me.
I know not all of you have sleeping babies to sit and stare at right now in your lives, but today as you go about your hectic day, I challenge you to just stop for a moment and breathe in all that you are and were created to be. Stop and thank the God who created you, for giving you every last feature, talent, and attribute. And when you look to the sky and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your face, close your eyes like a sleeping baby and know that God is smiling down on you, in awe of your beauty. He, after all, adores YOU more than we mothers adore our own children. I cannot even wrap my mind around that kind of love.