I am the afternoon caretaker of our son. Come 2 p.m. each day, I’m on call, on duty, and on board. I’ve got playtime, nap time, and snack time all covered and ready each weekday. As we crawl closer to 11 months old, it’s pretty amazing to think back to all the lack of sleep, exhaustion, and trying times. But yesterday’s nap time was a bit of a watershed moment for me. One where I knew he had taught me something instead of the other way around.
A brief 20 minutes into his nap, our guy woke up
crying, no…wailing is more like it. It wasn’t common, and certainly was surprising. I headed upstairs for what I thought would be a little consoling and promptly putting him back down. Instead it turned into a 40-minute marathon soothing and calming session.
As I held him, patted his back, walked laps around his room, read books, and tried to gently talk to him, I realized there’s something about this I actually like. No, not on a regular basis, but the fact my son is in need and I am the one who gets to help him was not lost on me. As we sat in the rocker reading our board books, and his head finally started to sink slowly onto my chest, I realized he was teaching me that patience is rewarded with love. My comforting allowed him to feel relaxed and secure enough to once again fall asleep.
I wouldn’t call myself the most patient person in the world. Learning to embrace the moments like yesterday and not get frustrated has been an experience for me. Though I won’t lie, it’s certainly easier at 3:15 p.m. than 3:15 a.m. Patience may be a virtue but for me, it’s also a labor of love. A lesson to be learned one fussy, napless, enjoyable moment at a time.