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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cradles, Cribs, and Crying

About 6 weeks ago, I started thinking through all the things I needed to do for us to move.  Perhaps this was crazy, but I thought the transition would be smoother if all my babies were sleeping through the night in playpens or cribs.  The twins have this down pat, but little Maddie Grace has been sleeping her whole life in a sleep and rock (which is, by the way, a fabulous product!).  She has bad reflux and she has slept well in her cozy little propped up position.  Ironically, Makiah slept the same way in a car seat forever it seemed.  They both like to cross their legs and prop their arms up behind their heads like old men in recliners!  Maddie has been getting too big for this little seat she sleeps strapped into and has been waking up a lot trying to move around.

So I determine it is time to do the deed and teach her to sleep flat in a crib.  She is my fourth baby and all of the others have made successful transitions to cribs, so I am thinking I have got this.  The hubby and I brace ourselves for two to three long nights of crying.  That’s all it takes for a little one to transition, right?  Wrong!  Double wrong in the case of sweet Maddie Grace!  It turns out that my happiest baby was also born with an iron will.  After exactly seventeen nights of  weeping and gnashing of teeth, I start to think this child will break us before we break her of her little cradle.  I know the battle is over at 1:45 am on the 18th night, when Cameron and I are huddled in Maddie’s room.   She is in our room in a crib and with our king sized bed letting the world know she will not sleep, and he tells  me he is going to put her outside on the porch (no, mom, we didn’t do it)!

One of those nights when I was rocking her and trying to calm her down, I stood between the two beds with her squishy little self snuggled in my arms….   on one side of the room is her beloved sleep and rock.  The place she has slept so peacefully for the first 9 months of her life.  It was a perfect fit for those early days and she was so comfortable growing there.  On the other side of the room stands the delicate, white mini-crib. It is the place of uncertainty for Maddie Grace, but it is also her future. 

 I think to myself how silly it is that she is doing all this crying about sleeping in one and not the other.  After all, they are only a few feet apart! I marvel that a  little change that seems like a no brainer from my perspective, is enough to throw my child into all out panic mode for weeks.    I whisper to her that mommy will love her and keep her safe in the crib just as much as in her old bed.  I say to her that I will be watching and listening and be just as close to her in her crib as I was before.  She just needs to trust me.

And then I hear it.  The whisper in my heart.  That I am really just like my precious daughter.  What seems like such a big change to me is really not throwing God for a loop at all.  In fact from His perspective, a move (or any big transition we make) is no more unsettling than sliding a few feet across a nursery to a new bed.  El Rohi.  He is the God who sees.  And He is there.  Listening for our cries.  Loving us like precious children as we take baby steps toward the future.  And the plans he has for us.  Whispering peace and words of promise to our hearts.  If we will quiet ourselves to listen, we will hear the still small voice.  Reminding us to trust Him.

Now if only I could get my Maddie Grace to understand the whisper!  Then our little chat could have solved the problem!  Just in case you are curious, she won.  I decided she could stay in that little seat until she was four and her legs dangled to the floor as long as we could SLEEP!  But in reality, she only spends about 4 hours in that little cradle these days.  Then the rest of the night finds her exactly where she really wanted to be all along… snuggled in our bed, right between mommy and daddy! 

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..."

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