As much as I like to have all the answers (especially when it comes to my kids), the opportunity to realize that I don’t never fails to arise.
I have taken pride in the fact that Isabel and Elliana have always gone to bed awake and put themselves to sleep quite easily (Thanks, Babywise!), rarely ever having to cry themselves to sleep… until recently. For reasons I have yet to figure out, little Isabel has in recent weeks started crying every time I lay her down to sleep. After determining that all her needs have been met, Travis and I have been fairly firm with her, instructing her to quit crying and to go to sleep. And, she does. But even after she has obeyed, I find myself still searching for possible reasons for her tears. (Like I said, I like to have all the answers when it comes to my kids….)
Last night, it was Elliana who threw me for a loop. Both she and Isabel had gone to bed right on time with no complaints. But after several minutes had passed, Elliana started crying. This being unusual, I went in to check on her, discovered no reason for her crying, tucked her back in, and left. Another several minutes later, her crying resumed; and, again I went in to quiet her. We went through this cycle several times in the span of the following hour until finally, still seeing no obvious reason for her crying, I decided to do something that I never do. I got her out of bed.
As I sat and rocked my sweet Elliana who was plastering herself to my chest and so obviously relishing in every ounce of my affection, I reflected on the joy of being able to extend grace to my children. While for their own sakes I have guarded against them taking advantage of that motherly grace (You know the saying…. “Give him an inch, he’ll take a mile.”…), sometimes it just feels good to say, “You know what? You should be sleeping, and I can see no reason why you aren’t, but just this once I’m going to show you a little extra grace.”
Isn’t that what we all need sometimes? A little extra grace?…