Tonight my almost 3-year-old was having a tough time at dinner. She doesn’t really nap anymore, and every couple of days it catches up to her and she is sleepy before her normal bedtime. I asked if she wanted to go upstairs to lay down and snuggle for a few minutes. I wasn’t sure if she’d fall asleep or if we’d just have a little time of connection and then she’d be off on her way.
We talked for a few minutes and then she started drifting to sleep. Falling asleep is seemingly so unremarkable, but the beauty of the moment always makes me smile. I love to watch a toddlers’ eyes as they dance and sparkle. I only wish that we, as adults, could maintain that same quality in our eyes when we are awake. Soon, as sleep starts to set in, their eyes get quiet. Their eyelids start to get heavy. Their breaths become deep and rhythmic, like a perfect yoga session. It is one of those moments that always humbles me. The peace is contagious. I can’t help but breathe a little slower and relax my body too.
Tonight I laid there and thought about how easy it is to fall into a trap of thinking that you need to train your children to sleep, and then you’d miss out on watching these little daily miracles. It happens so much in our culture. We are encouraged to improve upon things. Babies fall asleep while nursing, but the books say that she must play after she eats! Humans are so resilient. We adapt even when our nature, our best system, is screwed with. It tricks people into thinking that just because something seems easier then it must be the “right” thing to do. If only life were so black and white that the easiest thing was the “right” thing 😉
It seems so cliche, but tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to slow down, enjoy the breathtaking moments that are so easy to miss, and be present. It is so hard sometimes, but so centering. I missed a lot more of them with my oldest because I felt far more pressured by society to make him an “independent” sleeper or a “self-soother”. I am thankful for the opportunity to savor these moments now with each of my kids. Life passes so quickly.