Lately, Little Bubs has taken to midnight soirees, to fanciful fits of waking at 12, 1, 2 in the morning and remaining awake for the next hour or two. Now, to his credit, he’s ONE, so I realize the likely combination of bad dreams and separation anxiety is not exactly of his choosing, and that his wide-awake miniature man-body wants to sleep just as badly as I do.
But the nighttime still requires a response.
For nighttime reveals truth.
Because when I’m on the third read of Goodnight Moon, and when I’m lying prostrate next to Cancan on the couch after another hour (with visions of anti-co-sleeping rhetoric dancing through my head – which, of course, we swore we’d never do), and when I’m wishing and hoping and shooting out fiery fortheloveofallthatisholy darts of “Go to sleep, Baby, go to sleep,” truth is revealed.
My dear childhood friend, Sarah Signe, gave me a copy of Momma Zen a few months back, her way of welcoming me into the great, grand adventure of motherhood. The book was a truthful reminder to breathe deeply, to accept the great joy and the great pain that come from loving a helpless, dependent Little One so deeply. Normalizing the experience of becoming a mama, as I rocked Cancan this morning at o-dark-thirty, I was reminded of author Karen Maezen Miller’s words regarding the night:
“Everything comes out of the night, the infinity of days and nights, the vastness of things known and unknown, and you are now invited to witness it all” (45).
How, then, will I respond with confronted with night?
For these moments are holy and these minutes are sacred.
I think of the story of Jesus, walking on water sometime during the 4th watch of the night – which, math majors, is sometime between 3 and 6 in the morning. There he was, just walking across the once-stormy lake, over to the disciples; when they, justifiably freaked out, his response was simply this:
Come, enter into the watches of the night. Come, enter in to Truth, to me and through me. Come, enter in to a love most sacred, to a holiness most profound.
For this witching hour, as Miller reminds us, is where everything comes out – and we are invited to enter in and be a part of the great, grand adventure.
And so when it happens again, I’ll first utter one of the three great prayers: Help me, help me, help me, Jesus! I’ll promise to treat myself to an extra cup o’ joe in the morning, but when I’m sitting with Baby in the moment, I’ll choose to notice night’s truths.
I’ll notice how he nestles in to my side, burrowing and burying his face in my clingy cotton, and I’ll sing “The Goodnight Prayer” and “You Are My Sunshine” over and over again till my scratchy, exhausted voice carries his tired lungs to sleep.
Then I’ll enter into the sacred, holy moment, the minute of being, right here, right now, where the very depths of my soul will utter thankfulness for my precious, perfect mine.
What about you? What truths does night reveal for you?