To sleep, perchance to FEEL HUMAN.
One time, I went nearly a year without a full night's sleep. There were a few sprinkled here and there, but never more than two in a row. I have some kind of new respect for that Duggar lady with the 200 children. She has basically been breastfeeding for 20 years now. How does she seem so nice and normal? I knew that I didn't do well without proper sleep, but I had no idea what it was going to do to me over the long term.
I remember staying up all night in college to both read the book AND write the paper (in one night, yes...go go Gadget Speedreader...made a B on that, thankyouverymuch). And I remember being utterly fascinated by my rice krispies the next morning. You'd have thought I was on some sort of illegal substance.
Thankfully, Shepard is seemingly on track now for sleeping through the night. He still has a little spell here and there, but is really learning to self-soothe. I am on the road to feeling like a productive citizen of the earth now, and he's on the road toward independence.
While it's difficult to teach him this little lesson of independence, I know that it's for his well-being, both now and in the future. All I really want to do is go pick him up, squeeze him in reassurance that Mommy will always be there and rock him gently while gazing at his eyelashes in the low light of the nursery.
One of the greatest gifts my parents gave to me was the gift of independence and self-control. They allowed me to make decisions within my age range knowing I might choose unwisely. But they gave me tools all along the way, talked to me continually about right and wrong, better and best, and most of all...God. I had a strong sense of God watching me, not to smite me upon the first sin I committed. But watching OVER me and knowing what I was up to. I didn't want to hurt His heart. Now, I certainly wasn't perfect. I told my share of lies and half-truths (those are lies, too, I know!) and gossiped, etc. etc. But I do feel that my parents equipped me for making good life choices. I can only hope and pray to give Shepard the same tools.
This is my mother's heart for Shepard. To raise an independent, compassionate and God-fearing man. There are so many things I want for him; but if we can't get those going, anything else will be for naught. So, we'll start with sleep. And I imagine, we'll move on to table manners soon...if I can just keep that half-toothed grin from melting my resolve and giving in to every indulgent squeal...