Thursday, June 12, 2008

nap time



Ella, my almost-three-year-old has been rebelling against the afternoon nap these past several months. I was dismayed at first, as that hour or so of quietness while the girls slept gave me just a little time to get done house work or have a little reading/rest time with Juden. While caring for and nurturing three little ones all day, those little breaks also just helped me keep my sanity and patience. I was even more dismayed when each night at dinnertime, Ella would set into a overtired whining that didn't cease till bedtime. In my desperate attempt to cling to that hour with one child instead of three, we have developed a new routine.
Ella now sleeps in a big girl bed which happens to be a full size bed someone gave us, and I might add she looks like a pea-sized little princess in it. I somewhat reluctantly decide to lie with her and push aside the thoughts of all the other responsibilities that are piling up. I figure that if I sing to her and rub her back, surely she'll drift off and I can get back to my housework and one-on-one time with Juden. So there we lie while she fidgets and squirms and rearranges her bears and lambs and I'm patiently hoping she'll remember how tuckered out she is and how oh-so-comfy her bed is. I glance around her bright, feminine, little girly room, and I think it's nice just to have these few moments to slow down. My eyes stop on this painting that my dad painted.
The painting is full of tranquility and simplicity. A couple in a canoe, a man reading on a park bench, a family feeding the ducks. The brush strokes are soft and muted. I look at the scene through his eyes and I wonder, is it England? Have we been there? Everything about it is so...him, and I miss him. I wonder why I'm missing him again so much lately. Was it when I was sitting behind the girl who gently leaned her head on her father's shoulder during church and I felt that ache in my heart. Was it sitting outside last night and watching the strange sky before the storm? I've always loved to watch storms- all the green-grey light, the noise and power of them. Remembering the thrill of summer thunderstorms when I was little, sitting on his lap with his big arms around me. Maybe it's the fear of the sound of his voice growing fainter. Maybe it's Father's Day coming up, or maybe it's marveling at these little grandchildren of his that I wish he could see.


My eyes close as the thoughts pass and I feel a restless Ella's soft little fingertips tracing my lips and brushing across my eyelashes, and I think to myself, at least one of us is being lulled to sleep. My thoughts turn to how ridiculously much I love this little bug. I love the dimple on just her right cheek, how funny she looks with her crocs always inevitably on the wrong feet, how she talks out of a side ways mouth. Heaven help me the day someone makes her cry, or teases her. Maybe some day she'll question where her worth is. Maybe she'll wonder if she's skinny enough or smart enough, or if the guys she's dating is right for her. Maybe she'll fall prey to messages of false securities. Maybe she'll doubt what she believes. Lord, give me grace for those times but for now I bathe this little one in prayers of strength, purity, wisdom, and love for this precious daughter. May she always be held by your grace. While my sleepy prayers give way I realize the desired result has come to pass... at least for a few minutes.

7 comments:

katiek said...

You write so beautifully Linda. I think I say that almost every time you post :) I was having a lot of the same thoughts the other night about Josiah. Sending him off to school in the fall makes me very insecure about what will happen. I also very often fall asleep trying to get my kids down for quiet time. But I'm always sleepy these days.
Keep sharing your wonderful reflections with us!

Karen said...

I remember naps with Dana. That was the only way to get him to take a nap for quite awhile. I'm so thankful for the times when, for whatever reason, God puts everything into perspective, setting aside all the chores that come with daily family life. Those moments fuel me and remind me why I'm doing this in the first place.

amber said...

thanks for openly sharing your thoughts. i always enjoy reading what you have written...

Anna said...

Just beautiful Linda, as always.

Mom said...

Beautiful pictures of my Ella. I'm coming soon! I'll take over lying with her in that big bed in that cozy room. We'll probably get to giggling and messing around though and you'll have to put me in Time-Out.... Yes, I'm quite sure that is England. And, you'll always remember his voice and picture him. Whenever you play charades, do you think any of us will ever forget him acting out "hen-whizz".Etc.... And of course picture and hear profound and loftier moments too. (Yes, I sure love my little Ella!)

Lauren said...

i didn't know you'd lost your dad, linda...i'm so sorry. i loved to hear you write about *your* ella....some of the things you said rang so true about my ella as well :)

Susan said...

Linda,
These memories you've recalled and the ones you make here are going to be treasured by your children. These are lovely photos of Ella. She is a much loved little one. I'm praying for and thinking of you today, on Father's Day. Love, Mimi