One of my few hard-and-fast rules for mothering is this: Let. The. Sleeping. Baby. Lie. Do not, under any circumstances, wake the baby. (Okay, maybe to get to Mass or a doctor’s appointment. Maybe). Those first few weeks home with a tiny newborn, even knowing that this particular child could sleep through a marching band practice in the living room, I would still follow this rule scrupulously. If the baby fell asleep on my chest, he got to stay there. (Honestly, that meant I got to stay there—on the couch, or in the comfy chair—but who’s counting?) Even when I got restless during a long newborn nap, there was just nothing better than that warm little person snuggled up on my chest.
So, I had a moment of déjà vu recently when my two-year-old, who is never still, woke up from a nap, came and crawled into my lap, and promptly went back to sleep. He’s old enough now that we don’t want that nap to be too long—we want him to go to sleep at night!—but how could I turn down such lovely cuddling? I stayed on the couch until my legs and back were stiff from sitting. I was not about to disturb the comfort my baby was getting from his mother’s body.
Sometimes I need that rest too; I need a warm lap to climb into, where I feel safe enough to drift off to sleep. And it’s a comfort to me to remember that when I am disturbed, or angry, or exhausted, God is there to hold me until I’m ready to get up again. While I might get restless under the weight of a newborn (not to mention a two-year-old!), God has infinite patience, and will wait with me as long as it takes. Whether I’m able to go to Mass or an adoration chapel, call a sympathetic friend, or just hide in the bathroom for a few minutes, God is there to comfort me when the world (or the two-year-old) seems to be too much.
As (home)school starts again, and the world continues with its chaos, and I wrangle with my middle-schoolers, it’s good to know I have the safety of God’s “lap” when I need a little bit of comfort.