Well Worth the Sleepless Nights

I spent the better part of last night with Grace’s sweaty toddler body pressed to my chest listening to her breathing. By better, I do not mean most enjoyable, but rather the bulk of my sleeping hours. Grace, apparently, has come down with croup. I haven’t taken her to a doctor, but we’ve done the drill so much with Fenix, that we’re borderline experts. Despite Fenix’s many bouts with croup, Grace had me freaked out! The 80 year old man voice she had dinner had me laughing. The midnight barking cough, the rattle like snoring, and the waking, gasping for breath, had me irrationally wanting to rush her to the e.r. Outside of the few moments when her own coughing woke her up scared, she was a trooper. After two hours of her pressed to my chest so she’d be elevated and her breathing would be easier, she downed some Tylenol, and spent twenty minutes in the bathroom with me running the shower as hot as it would go. It’s amazing what making your own sauna can do for croup, really. Twenty minutes later and completely soaked in swear, the rattle in Grace’s chest was gone. We crawled back into bed and slept until 8, and have now spent our morning lounging in the rec room in our pajamas.

I’m really not sure that I have a reason for this post, blame my lack of sleep, paired with the fact that I haven’t blogged in a while. Grace’s croup filled night had me thinking about a co-worker of mine who is always commenting on why he doesn’t have kids: the snot, the puke, dirty diapers, tantrums, sleepless nights. I admit, I had some of those concerns pre baby days, but the minute I found out I was pregnant, I was hooked. I had a purpose and a role much bigger than myself. I carried Grace in my body for nine months, but I’ll be carrying her with me the rest of my life. She is an extension of me. Her pain is mine, her well being ahead of my own, her happiness, my priority. The snot, the dirty diapers, the puke are well worth the trade off. Yes, there are moments when I’d like to escape to my room and read or hop in the bath and relax without my toddler’s little hands splashing water at me, but I thank God every day for gracing me with the opportunity to be her mother. I think being a parent is the ultimate way to pay it forward. I am molding a human being, whose character and values will influence others. I am molding a mini woman who will go on to do great things, who will make friends, and have a career, and her own family some day.

So yes, there are days like today, where I wake up still tired, where I didn’t sleep deep enough to even come close to dreaming, but I wouldn’t trade nights like last night for the world. I love being Grace’s mother; tantrums, sleepless nights, and all.

(Now, I may be singing a different tune when she’s sixteen, so check back with me fifteen years from now:)

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