One of our children is unable to sleep. Bursts of sleep rather than a night’s sleep. It has been happening for a few weeks now and is taking its toll. Being tired all the time is wearing and debilitating. A literal dragging down emotionally and physically.
I was reading that one of our national television news “anchors” has been off work for several weeks. He is suffering insomnia – chronic insomnia by the sound of it – unable to function properly. I haven’t heard of someone being off work for several weeks with insomnia.
In our daughter’s case the cause is recent motherhood – their wee lad is a stirrer. So during the day there is endless walking with him in a pappoose. And at night there are endless cuddles and rocking between feeds.
The “get-by” is that our daughter brings their wee lad to our home during the day, and grabs a few hours sleep between feeds. Nana and Grandad “pappoose” with our little grandson. And as I work from home it is usually Nana doing the pappoosing.
However … I did find out last weekend that pappoosing a wee baby is a better “babe magnet” than walking a fluffy puppy! And as we are happily married, this is just an observation (rather than a hope). But the vast age range of “the babes” who were interested would have made for some disappointing choices (had I really been looking)!
Today it crosses my mind – sitting here attached only to my desk and computer this morning – at no time have we tried “to save” our daughter from any of this. There has been no telling how to do things better .. differently … because “we did it” years ago … because “we have the answers” …
We all know this a phase – a short-lived period on a much longer journey. We too have lived those phases (which seem like an eternity at the time). And we know this journey has many other challenges-rewards. And (we learned) that each phase will be a response to this growing life – that a young child “leads” and the parents “follow” as best they can (no matter the intentions/theories of parenting).
So we have no need to do anything other than celebrate the joy of being invited to be part of their journey in such an intimate and loving way. The joy of knowing our daughter is sleeping whilst – at the same time – having such close contact (literally) with this warm bundle of life and love … We could never improve on that.
We are privileged to have so much time, so much close contact, so much relationship and community with our child (now her own person) and their budding family. A new family independent and with their own lives. Because who knows how long that will be the case? So the details of seniority and hierarchy and rights and expectations have no place here. None of that matters. Love without condition is all that is needed or asked. And I have no idea who is “discipling” who.
Why bring “God and religion” into this love story?
Because for me God is a love story – albeit “religion” far less so. But the relationship and community I read of in the bible? I found that because of “religion”. These are all phases as well – all part of a longer journey. And after the “traditional” bible phase came the “liberated” bible phase – a phase wherein there are no rules – a phase that leads to another phase and invitation and another and another …
And that liberated freedom means I now have no burden to “save” our daughter and son-in-law and grandson.
I have a relationship with One who doesn’t need that of me. For that relationship is (also) entirely of love without condition. A relationship that is a journey full of phases that each seem to last a lifetime (but don’t). A journey I cannot help but make with phases that arrive and pass – some in the blink of an eye – others a little longer – a few for a lifetime.
So this “discipling” I have heard about, written about, talked about, hoped to share with others … For me “dsicipling” has become the essence of our today with our adult children and weeks-old grandson.
We do not teach and they do not learn – they do not teach and we do not learn. We simply walk together in love – accepting of each – appreciative of each – and each knowing this phase too will pass …
But love remains.