Our baby boy is now three months old and, unfortunately, has decided he’s too old for naps. A 30-minute snooze here, a 45-minute conk-out there, but nothing substantial. It’s quite the challenge to get this boy to lay down AND STAY DOWN for an hour or more, despite his obvious developmental (and emotional) need for quality shut-eye.
I suppose he takes after me in this regard. I gave up napping at just eighteen months but Dax, the overachiever that he is, is trying to beat me on this one.
During the day, he’s happy as a clam to go nap-less. He smiles and coos, causing us to get dopey-eyed and do the same, all the while distracting us from the imminent doom that awaits us come bedtime.
When the sun goes down, our son’s blood pressure rises along with sizable shrieks of protest. We change him into his snuggly pajamas and try to avoid bursting into uncontrollable sobs as we clutch the angry, writhing child who, somehow, becomes stronger than us at night, against our weary chests and attempt to rock him into oblivion.
As my spirits sink, I find myself dejectedly repeating a plea in my head:
Oh, Dax, if only you would rest. If only you would shut your little eyes, stop screaming, and let yourself fall asleep once and for all. You would be such a happy child. You would be so safe. So sound. If only you would stop fighting me and just find rest in my arms.
After what feels like an eternity, he does finally nod off into the deepest, most restful sleep possible. He face-plants on our bed for hours and hours, completely still, as if he wasn’t just a mass of flailing arms and legs mere minutes before. And each time I think, See? Isn’t this better than fighting me? Isn’t this rest better than the anguish and pain?
I imagine that, as he ages in infancy and gets more accustomed to our bedtime routine, this will get better. And then, when he’s old enough to understand the implications of rest and sleep, he will resume the bedtime battle, as if he is suffering from amnesia in only one tiring and frustrating way.
As I transition through this identity crisis (that is, going from the go-to girl for everything to a 100% committed mom) it’s hard to find my center. It’s hard to focus on the good, rather than the bad. It’s hard to not be bitter about having to work, or not being able to be involved in the things I used to be involved in, or that my friendships have to be much more intentional now that my free time is basically null and void. Consequently, in my prayer time, I have found myself calling out to God selfishly, sinfully, demanding, “Why is my life ___ way as opposed to ___ way? Why am I ___ kind of person and not ____ kind? Why are things happening the way YOU want them to as opposed to the way I want them to?”
Last night, as I was falling asleep and praying this familiar prayer, I heard my own voice respond back,
Oh, Lindsay. If only you would rest.
My heart stopped. I went still. I listened some more.
Oh, Lindsay. If only you would rest. If only you would stop fighting Me and let Me love you. If only you would realize what plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. If only you would close your eyes and stop fighting Me. If only you would rest.
Indeed. If only.