Sometimes it seems it wasn’t that long ago when sleep was a luxury, when slumber was constantly interrupted by the cries of a newborn or the shrieks of night terrors. With four children I think there was a span of about ten years where sleeping-in was to be celebrated, and getting a solid night’s sleep was like winning the lottery.
Then came the independence of going to late night parties, then bars and the laying awake until the knowledge they were safe at home gave me permission to give in to the enticement of nodding off.
I can’t help but reflect on the times I craved sleep but greeted them at 3 am with a comforting smile and hug and coached them back to sleep. As they’ve become adults and deal with stresses and work schedules should I commit the crime of waking them before noon I’m met with snarls and nasty text messages, slamming of cupboard doors and looks of disgust.
I remember the child that I cradled in my arms in the rocking chair for hours and I send love to us both. I remember too being the teen that became disgusted by the smells of cooking while I tried to sleep or the offense of loud voices that assaulted my ears and ripped me away from peaceful slumber. I snarled. I complained.
Compassion and remembering helps deepen my understanding. For me that’s one of the benefits of a good memory and having my kids fairly young. I remember what it’s like. My love is stronger than their judgment and anger. And while they can be hurtful in their reactions, things always cycle back to that love that restores my soul and reminds me how blessed I am to be their mother.