She doesn’t fall asleep until 10:27, this spritely little girl of mine. She finally stills, her hand resting on my arm, her head on my legs, her hair spread out like a dandelion in bloom.
I’m captivated by her. I sit in her bed, in the darkened room, and I listen to lullabies and I read about other mothers drinking in their little girls and my heart almost breaks with the beauty.
But – I’ll be honest – I’m also irritated because it is 10:30 and it took her almost 90 minutes to fall asleep – and this after book reading and water drinking and rub-my-back-one-more-time-Momma requests. Ninety minutes I’ve sat here in the dark, praying not to chafe against the silken reins on my back and the tender bit in my mouth.
And now it is 10:30 and the lights are out in the house and my husband is getting ready for bed and this? This is the first minute I’ve had to myself all day.
“This is gift,” I whisper gentle stern to my soul (which always leans toward the melancholy at nightfall). “This is gift.”
And I know this season, it chips and wears away at the layers of selfishness which I use to clothe my soul. At this point in my child-rearing, I feel practically worn through. Yet there are still pockets of me-focus to discover.
I beg for wisdom to know the difference between being a martyr and being a mother.
I ask even more for the ability to love well.