Friday, October 16, 2009

A Fright in the Night

This post was submitted in Scribbit's monthly write-away contest for October.

It was a quarter 'til midnight and I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep. Then I heard it ... the sound that could be innocuous, or could be the beginning of a long, scary night. I waited with baited breath for more clues as to what my night would hold. The rustling continued, but on its own that was still innocuous. In a minute or two, my fears were realized as the rustling was joined by cries ... the irrational wailings of an almost-4-year-old who has awoken in the middle of the night!

My husband tried to handle the situation, but I could soon tell that the wails were not going to be stopping soon. These cries could have been the result of a night terror, or a nightmare, or anything, but the child was clearly not fully awake and would not be consoled. I decided to take over so that my husband could go back to sleep, since he did need to get up earlier than me in the morning. I tried to hold and rock the wailer, but I soon realized that he was wet. (He is potty-trained, but still needs training pants when sleeping.) He had refused to go potty before bed, and had already filled up his training pants and leaked onto the bed, pillow, blanket ... you get the idea. I stripped him first, and once he was clean and in new training pants I moved him to the floor. Then I stripped and re-made the bed. I think that this bothered him because his new sheets were white. (His now-wet sheets were blue, and he liked them because it is like "sleeping in the water".) It was hard to comprehend what was actually being said, I mean screamed and cried, so this was just a guess. (He did comment on it the following morning, though. "Blue sheets are like sleeping in the water, yellow sheets are like sleeping in the sun, and white sheets are like sleeping in nothing.")

I do know that he was upset that his wet blanket had been taken away. It was replaced, but the new blanket was unacceptable. At least, it was unacceptable until the following morning. When he saw it then he was very excited about the "new, fuzzy blanket" and began playing with it immediately.

At any rate, I couldn't get him to calm down, and he was getting dangerously close to waking up his older brother. That would have been even scarier, so I took the wailer to another room where I could close the door and try to calm him down. He likes to have his back and face rubbed, so I tried that. In his highly agitated state, however, he did not want for me to touch him. So, I just lay down beside him and let him do his loud, annoying thing. At one point he seemed to become aware of himself and started to wipe his nose on a sheet. I quickly said, "Uh-uh," and he stopped and looked at me. I think that the screaming even stopped. I asked if he wanted a tissue to wipe his nose and he said yes. I got him one, and after his nose was wiped, he quietly lay down and cuddled up next to me. This was the same child who had been loud, inconsolable, and untouchable less than a minute before! What had happened?

I pondered this question as I tried to get comfortable and go back to sleep. I hadn't done anything to help. I just waited patiently and quietly. For some reason, he seemed to become aware that he had a problem that needed some attention - a runny nose. He tried to fix it on his own, but, thankfully, allowed me to take care of it in a better way. He then let me show my love for him in a more practical way, by getting close to me and letting me cuddle and caress him.

As I thought about this, it reminded me of my own relationship with God. I have (and probably will again) become angry, sad, irrational, etc. with the mess of my life. It could be because of circumstances out of my control or it could be because of my own bad choices, but the result is still like lying in a wet bed. It's uncomfortable so first I pitch a fit about it, but then that doesn't really help. It only causes more problems - like not making sense to those around me and a snotty nose. I try to clean up the mess myself, but being smack dab in the middle of it can make it hard to clean it all up. All the time, God is waiting patiently there. He has offered to help, but I have pushed Him away and said I can do it myself. I am smart enough to figure it out. I have enough self-discipline to do it on my own. He knows the truth, and He offers help, but He waits. Eventually, I realize that I can't do it. I turn to Him, and He wipes my nose and dries my tears. He holds me. He loves me. I can finally rest in His peace.


Scribbit said...

You draw some good parallels--and I have felt that same way myself from time to time too.

Rebecca said...

This was great!

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