The teenage years were bliss. Sure, I didn’t see it then. I was too busy worrying about which choker to wear for my big night out going to the movies (to see Lord of the Rings for the 3rd time) and too busy strategizing how to beat out the academic competition for valedictorian. #nerdlife But boy did I have it made at bed time! My worries would dissipate, and I’d sleep like a champ. This girl could stay in bed until noon most Saturdays, but those days of sleepy time delight are simply a distant dream now. From teething irritability to night terrors and midnight feedings, how is a girl supposed to function like an actual human person?! Oh, yes, mommy friend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t you?
Life is no longer about us and our solid eight hours of sleep. It’s about God entrusting us with tiny people to love and care for, and sometimes that means sacrifice–the kind of sacrifice that leaves you looking like a cast member of “The Walking Dead.” But in these wee hours of the morning when those little arms are grasped tightly to your sides and that tiny head is tucked sweetly beneath your chin, nothing else matters. You have experienced the most intense love a person could ever know and were given so much more than what you “lost” when you became a mom. Your future is set to be filled with family game nights, ice cream dates, evenings spent on the ball field or in the school auditorium, teachable moments that you and your child will never forget, and bear hugs as large as the ocean. You will learn and grow as much as your children will, and one day will watch in amazement as they tackle their own God-sized dreams and conquer them! You will have been the one who gave them the courage to step out into unknown territory with confidence and do what you never thought you could do yourself. This is your privilege. So pay close attention and don’t take for granted the time you’ve been given. Before you know it, you’ll watch your little one experience his first step, first day of kindergarten, first game, first love, first hard mistake, first great accomplishment, first job, first car, and first big adventure– too many firsts to count! And it all starts now . . . here in this moment when all you can seem to focus on is simply making it to the next naptime.
As you sit in that rocking chair one more time, hoping your babe drifts quickly off to sleep, don’t wish away that precious moment. Use the time you’ve been given. Close your eyes tightly and engrave this memory into your heart where you’ll be sure to never forget it. Pray that with each passing minute you’ll soak in as much as you can and enjoy these nights spent together. Nothing lasts forever. This present moment in time will soon fade into the past and you’ll be left wishing for just one more sleepless night.