As I write this we are in the middle of a bout with a stomach virus that won't go away. Everyone has had it except Chris and Hudson...so far. I'm weary of watching my little ones lay around not feeling well. I'm weary of not feeling well. And weary of saltines and toast and applesauce.
And may I be completely honest in the midst of my whining? I'm weary of cleaning up after "throw up" and the constant laundry it creates and the smell of it covered by Odo-Ban and Spring Waterfall scented Lysol. ("throw up" seemed to be the least offensive sounding way to put it...if you prefer, you may insert a different euphemism for it :) )
I had a long nap this afternoon when Chris got home from church, so I'm wide awake in the middle of the night. Hudson came in our room about 30 minutes earlier. I heard the creaking in the hallway and my first thought was.."Oh no...here we go again." After five straight nights of having to change sheets or pajamas in the middle of the night, it was becoming routine. Thankfully, no one was sick. He just wanted his music in his room turned on. He was having trouble falling back asleep. I walked him back to his room and turned on his CD player.
While I was tucking him in, he said, "Mommy, do you know why I'm having trouble falling asleep?" (That's his favorite way to tell me about anything, by asking me a question.) "Because I can't get comfy. If you scratch my back, I bet I can fall asleep." (He'll also use any excuse to have his back scratched.) "Okay buddy," I say as he flips over before the words are out of my mouth. I scratch and rub his back till he seems to be drifting off. And I tiptoe to my room, hoping I can fall back asleep. But I can't, because of the aforementioned nap. :)
About 10 minutes later, Hudson is back in our room. Apparently he wasn't as settled as I thought. "Mommy, can you scratch my back one more time?" "Sure Hudson." And so we're walking back to his room again. As he's crawling into his bed he says, "Mommy, if you pray to me maybe I can fall asleep." "Okay Hudson" I say smiling. We'll worry about the semantics later, I knew what his sweet little four year old mind wanted. And so I pray for him out loud -- that God will watch over him and protect him from the "bug" and help him to fall asleep and I say, Amen and he grins and closes his eyes.
As I'm scratching his back and holding back tears, I continue praying silently. Lord, grow this willingness in his heart. This willingness to come to You so naturally, knowing You want that for him and from him always. Protect him and keep him tender to Your voice and Your ways. Do that for all of my children. Help me to have that same childlike quality in my walk with You.
And I leave again, hopeful he'll be able to rest. I sneak downstairs, which is no small feat in this 1950's house with squeaky wood floors, hoping to have some alone time with my Lord. I make a cup of tea, gather my Bible and journal and head for the living room. As soon as I sit down on the couch, the door creaks open again. He's up. "Come downstairs Hudson," I whisper up the steps.
He comes down and snuggles up against me as I'm nudged to write this story in my journal. The story of the night my littlest one taught me so much with just a few simple words. "Your writing looks pretty Mommy," he says as he smiles at me. "Thanks buddy." I look down at him and am reminded of the wise warnings of more experienced moms. Cherish the time. He won't always be this little. He won't always want me when he can't fall asleep. And I ask for grace to be patient and kind with my family in the midst of the weariness. For strength to be the woman God wants me to be.
And then he says..."Mommy, my tummy feels bad." Oh boy...here we go again.