Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm thankful for

Andrea's whines and whimpers oozed out of the monitor and snaked across my nightstand.  They wrapped themselves around my throat and constricted my airways while the muscles in my back tensed uncomfortable.  "Paul," I squeaked.  "What do I do?"  I looked to him desperately as if he were a child-rearing oracle.  He shrugged nonchalantly.  I looked toward the monitor once again as Andrea sputtered and coughed, wondering if I'd be cleaning up mucus puke before midnight.  Soon I could hear her binky squeaking between sniffles, so I sunk back into my bed.  My eyes closed and I said my one thousandth prayer for her to sleep, or at least for some parental clarity for myself.  Do I go into her room and the risk of a hysterical reaction, or do I let her whine alone?  Do I insist she sleep in her bed where she's most likely to fall asleep, or do I risk her being awake all night by trying to let her rest on the couch with me?  Do I rub more essential oils on her feverish skin, or do I concede to a small dose of ibuprofen?  I waited for an epiphany and as dumbfounded silence filled my head I wondered if I was even asking the right questions.

Paul shut down his computer and informed me the best thing I can do for Andrea is turn off the monitor.  I looked at him like he was crazy as he stepped toward the bed and swiped his pillow.  "I'll sleep on the couch and listen for her.  Just turn off the monitor in here and try to get some rest."  Hesitantly, I kissed him good night and allowed him to leave me alone in the bed.  Guilt slipped in between the sheets to cuddle me as I wrestled my exhaustion.  I hated my weakness.  I yearned to be stronger.  I fought the urge march into the living room and relieve that man I love of his nightly watch.  Heaven answered my prayers with the strength of my husband, and it seemed a little ungrateful to decline such an offering.  And sometimes it's okay to not be the strong one all the time, right?

Sleep finally overtook me and my dreams consisted of holiday commercials and things that smell like pine.  I woke up around seven, feeling more rested than I've felt in months probably because Paul wasn't elbowing me in the face all night, so I tiptoed into the living room to check on my manly nightwatchman.  He was already awake, and his report was relatively good.  Andrea was alive, didn't cough up a mucus surprise, and was chattering happily in her crib.  Paul metaphorically handed me the care-giving baton as he dressed for work and I retrieved the child.  After such a solid night of sleep, I found wrestling a cranky and feverish toddler to be much more tolerable than usual, and my mental clarity was vastly more acute.  When I felt prompted to allow Andrea to nap on the couch, which usually ends in no nap at all, I acted upon the impression.  She "cwimb cwimbed" up onto the couch and happily curled up against me.  In the dark of my basement living room, I laid in complete shock as she quickly fell asleep.

For an hour and a half I held her warm and wheezing body, overwhelmed with love for her little soul, for the man who helped me bring her into the world, and for a loving Heavenly Father, who gave me both of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment