Tonight I was a rebel. I broke the parenting rule that says you should never rock your baby to sleep if you ever want her to learn to fall asleep on her own.
Actually, this wasn’t my first offense, and it won’t be the last time either. But whatever.
After I nursed M.E., she was fading but still awake and so I drew her close and rocked my sweet baby girl. I pressed my lips onto the soft skin of her cheek. As she snuggled close, I felt her chest gently rise and fall. She sighed contentedly, and I breathed in the smell of her milky breath. And I began to pray.
Even after I knew she’d melted into a deep sleep, I held her and continued to be content in the kernel of the moment. Even when a nagging voice in my head threatened to disrupt my cloistered peace as it told me I ought to be doing laundry, packing for an upcoming trip, or exercising instead of holding a sleeping baby, I just kept rocking. And praying.
This is my work. This is my worship. My prayers are silent, my work often unnoticed. Quietly, I make my children’s worlds turn. There is no hard evidence of my labor, especially now when I am alone in the darkness with my baby producing nothing other than a shared moment. Yet with God’s grace, it is my hope that the sum of these shared moments might help to positively shape my children’s lives. It is my hope, Lord, that I might love my children into loving.
Now it is time for me to sleep. It is late, and I did not accomplish all I’d hoped. My neglected “to do” list taunts me, but one final peek at my dozing baby reminds me that as a mother, my life’s most satisfying moments do not come to me when I’m involved in great matters. Instead, they often occur when I am hidden, my soul is stilled, and my child rests in my arms as I rest in God.