Friday, January 18, 2008

Whispers In The Dark

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.” ~ Fr. Alfred D’Souza


It was one of those nights in parenting comedy, here in the ol' Sombar abode. From the start it was chaos, everyone wanting to sleep with mommy this evening. I climbed into bed with Liam, while angrily, Benjamin followed and climbed in too. Then Liam called his brother a "boogerhead" and forced him off of his mattress, onto the floor, while Benjamin screamed as loud as possible that he needed to "sleep wit mommy" and he wasn't going to be laying with "mean daddy" and he hated everyone. Of course, Lily, ever the drama-queen, was proclaiming herself the winner of the "poor-me" prize, since she had no one to sleep with her except Gramma, who was living the high life solitarily confined to her own big bed in the basement. Finally, Liam caved, and Tom and I switched, and all was quiet on the home front. At one point, as I lay next to Benjamin, I started giggling quietly to myself, as I listened to the melodies of the various human beings surrounding me: Tom snoring like a worn-out chain-saw; Benjamin doing his finest imitation of Tom snoring like a worn-out chain-saw and then laughing like a hyena at his own hilarity; Liam humming a version of Do-Re-Me in different octaves; Lily switching from her left side to her right side in a very passive-aggressive "you all are driving me nuts" kind of way.

Tom and I have always laid with the kids as part of the nighttime routine here. Sometimes there are moments of pure joy, where the warmth of your child next to you lulls your mind into a most peaceful and serene state; then there are the times where you wonder if you'll be doing this until they go to college and you wish they didn't need you so much- you feel so exhausted and touched-out from the bulk of your day....

I talked for a short while with Natasha this week, a friend who also lays with her children as they go to sleep, and we lamented for a time, how hard it is to practice this sort of parenting when you feel so maxed by 8pm. How LOOOOOOOOOOOONG it can take to complete the bedtime routine; How much of your life gets ignored as a result. But, in truth, there are times, like tonight, where I know in my heart that I am choosing this routine, not as a result of some dysfunction in my children, but because these are fleeting years- and one day these little people will be big people who won't want me by their side at night anymore. And I will miss them. And for now, once the laughter dies down, and my kids surrender to the pleading of their eyelids for closure, it is a sanctuary of sorts to have them in my midst, with no bickering or whining or zapping of my last bit of self. To have my boys, normally so full of vim and vigor, snuggling beside me, or my daughter who barely acknowledged me with her friends uptown today, vying for her own piece of cuddle time with Mommy, is worth every minute.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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