Monday, January 7, 2008

Nitro Babies

I will warn you all ahead of time that I am writing after a very sleep deprived night. So bear with me but I have been thinking... Urban legend says that the great Houdini, was trained by a mother of tiny tots. After all who else could hold open a three hundred pound glass door with her big toe, force a double stroller through the opening, balance a screaming toddler on her hip, and still retrieve her car keys from her bag with her teeth? Yet if the truth were told, some of a womans best contortion maneuvers come in at naptime. In quest for the elusive nap, most moms that I know have gone through the equivalent of 12 verses of "You are my sunshine", half a gallon of milk. We repeatedly nod off into oblivion, while that wide, eyed, charge is, well...still charged. Then much later we would have dreamed (and oh, how I long to dream), we feel that tiny body give in and go limp. Victory at last! But victory is short lived because there is still that task from the glider to the crib. I have mentioned before that my husband is a big fan of westerns and that task reminds me of one I saw once in which a cowboy transports hundreds of vials of highly explosive nitroglycerin in a horse drawn wagon. The sweaty steed goes bumpity bump over miles of rugged terrain and inevitably encounters a rattlesnake. The camera zooms in on the horses terror-filled eyes as it rears up. Perspiration beads up on the cowboys face while the rattlesnake almost cooks his goose. Now so close to victory, we Sleep Seekers feel much like that nitro driver. We move like old women, not breathing, sweating profusely, slowly rising from the seat of the glider. Whew! So far, so good! We mentally pat ourselves on the back as we glide carefully to the crib. Then with the slow motion precision of a construction crane, we hoist the sleeping bundle over the rail and into position on the mattress. Now, if I can just get my arm out from under her head, I am home free, We coach ourselves. As we prepare to let go of baby, we face a technique choice: my husband and I call them the band aid removal method(extract your arm at lightning speed) or the Bomb squad removal method(extract your arm in painstaking half-inch increments). Regardless of which method we choose, we spy the binky lying nearby and make a mental not to grab it in the event of a waking emergency. Once our arm is free we cover them up and silently back away. Mission Accomplished!! And then we run to our own blissful bed. Suddenly- Squeak! We've planted a foot firmly on an unlucky toy ducky lying like a vial of nitro on the floor. We frantically leap for the binky, and near tears, softly sing the 13th verse of "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy..." Now to wrap it up and give this silly though process some meaning, often some of life challenges are like dealing with an insomniac baby. We go through all kinds of uncomfortable internal and external contortions trying to bring peace and rest to situations that wear us thin. Then despite our best efforts to get things under control, we step on a squeaking duck, or worse yet, on a "vial of nitro". The pitfalls of life are unavoidable. Yet if we become as a little child and call out to God, He will gather us into His arms and still our souls.

Psalm 131:2 "Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me".

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