Be Still

In teaching, it's all about finding the "teachable moments" and taking advantage of them. Those moments that are unscheduled and off the lesson plans, when a particular question from a little raised hand might lead down a tangent, away from the original plan but to a learning experience just as valuable, and maybe more so do to its authenticity.

Motherhood is all about taking advantage of the moment as well. The moments when your child has finally fallen asleep and a quick mental calculation reveals you probably have time for a shower if you hustle, and might even get the dishwasher unloaded and a round of laundry started and your hair dried before the little darling stirs, but only if you seize this moment right now and spring into action, even if it means drinking your now-lukewarm coffee in the shower. Totally worth it, right?

This morning (and I use the term "morning" loosely - 5:30 a.m. does not count as morning in my book, not since the baby started sleeping until 8 a.m. on a fairly regular basis) I found Annie wide awake in her bed. No amount of paci-pushing would satisfy her. Poor thing was coughing and snorting and generally sounding miserable with this lingering congestion. Finally, reluctantly, I pulled her into bed to feed her. She ate ferociously. And rewarded my generosity by promptly spitting up all over me, the pillows, the bed.

This occurred exactly 30 seconds before big sister came downstairs in the dead of darkness to announce, in tears, that she was no longer sleepy. What followed was two minutes of high drama as I tried to strip off my now-soaked clothes, Violet wailed as Matt forcibly led her back upstairs to bed, and Annie continued to just be wide awake.

I randomly posted about the saga on facebook, which I never do anymore. I wasn't trying to complain, I was just trying to be. And oh how the sympathetic mamas responded! Sometimes it is important to be a voice, just so others can call out and remind you you're not alone. My friend Brooke wrote back that she had experienced a similar morning. What she didn't say, what only I know, is that she's a mama to three kids (5 and under), and she's a working mama, a teacher no less, who somehow had to get those three precious children out the door, dressed for the day, on a cold, wet Monday while keeping her sense of humor intact. Miracles, I tell you.

Two hours later, as the house emptied and the baby fell asleep, I found myself in one of those holy moments. The rooms were silent save for the sound of falling rain outside on the flat, bleak morning. I quickly cataloged everything I needed to be doing - load of spit-covered laundry, fresh sheets for the bed, a shower, the grocery list - but continued to sit in the holy silence, grateful for my clean pair of pjs, warming my hands on my now-lukewarm coffee mug, admiring the perfect Christmas tree keeping vigil in the living room.

Sometimes it's important to just be still. To be still in the eye of the hurricane that is life, as the competing responsibilities of work and parenthood and friendship and domestic duties whirl around in a blur. To be still, to know, to be in the holy silence.

Because all too soon the baby will wake up, with her wet diapers and dazzling smiles. The big sister will come home from school, full of needs and stories from her three-year-old world. A hot shower will eventually be procured, as will dinner and those clean sheets. Life will happen all around, faster than we can keep track.

So for now, right now, I will be still.

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.

Psalm 46:10

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...