I am a mom. I’ve been one for 18 years. I have five kids and they are the sun, moon and stars to me. I love them with every fiber of my being.
But I’m tired.
For 18 years I’ve woken up prematurely - I call it a “stirring” - and seldom receive eight full hours of sleep.
This is a (partial) list of blessed reasons why. Most nights I experience at least one stirring. You may have a similar list, read on…
1. The 10:00 “just as I’ve climbed into bed” request. You know it as well as I do, “Mom, can I go over to Hannah’s house after school? And can I have $10.00 for pizza? And then could you drive us to the mall once you get off work?”
2. The 11:25 “I’m in a deep sleep now” mind-numbing concern. “Mom, we were watching this documentary about rodents at school and apparently they can climb up into washrooms through sewer pipes. I really have to go to the bathroom but I’m afraid a rat is going to be in the toilet, can you come check?”
3. The 12:15 worry. “Jennifer and I want to stand beside each other for our class pictures because we’re going to wear these cute matching tops but what if the teacher doesn’t let us? And what if we don’t look good beside another person? We’ve been planning this all year. Can you phone the school?”
4. The 01:00 wonder text. The buzzing of my iPhone reveals the questioning of one of my teenagers: “Mom, I can’t sleep. I’m thinking about the rocks in our neighbors yard. I need to make an Inukshuk for my Humanities class. Do you think I could use their rocks? Would they mind?”
5. The 05:20 appeal for a dream interpretation. “Mom, I had a nightmare where I went to church with no pants on. This is not good. I can’t play piano on Sunday, it’s some sort of sign…..”
6. The 05:58 call for cleanup. “Mom, I just woke up and there was macaroni in my bed. I think I threw up. Can you clean it?”
7. The 06:10 Bathroom Break. Okay, nowadays those are more for me than for my kids.
By 7:00am I usually find myself vertical and in the kitchen. I clutch a large cup of coffee and pour in just enough cream to remind me of the sand on a beach somewhere pleasant. I grab hold of my spoon, start stirring, and thank the Lord for the gift of my children. They have taught me more than I’ve taught them.
Someday the house will be quiet and I’ll sleep.
There will be no stirring. Not even from a mouse.