It was 3am and Lucien wanted a snack and a story. Make that several stories. I was exhausted. Neil was in Finland. It had been a long week. In that moment all I wanted was for Lucien to go to back to sleep.
Because of Neil’s work trip, I hadn’t meditated or practiced yoga asana in days. I could feel the difference in my reaction to Lucien. I had less patience, less ease–particularly in the evenings. I both counted the hours until bedtime and dreaded bedtime. The struggle to get Lucien to sleep when I was already tired from a long day felt like more than I could handle. Lucien picked up on my energy. The more I dreaded bedtime, the more he resisted going to sleep, and the more likely he was to wake up in the middle of the night and need to be put down all over again–which is what brought us here, to this 3 am invitation to practice patience.
I was resisting with all my might. I couldn’t see the big picture, couldn’t see the humor. I felt like I had nothing left to give. I just wanted to get back in bed and sleep.
Eventually, around 3:30 am, while debating with my three year old over how many books we’d read before he’d sleep, I caught myself. I breathed, I surrendered to the situation–this would take as long as it was going to take. Worst case scenario? We”d both be tired and grumpy in the morning. No big deal. Lucien fell asleep.
The last day of Neil’s trip, Lucien’s babysitter came and I went to yoga class. I came home, a new person–restored and rested from two hours of yoga. I came home the mother I want to always be for Lucien.
Neil’s back and life has returned to a happy normal. Neil’s the master of the peaceful bedtime–he has endless patience for “just one more story” or “some raisins” even if he’s been up since 4am working. I’m grateful to have regained my sense of peace and calm, grateful to have my yoga practice and, even more important, my reserve of patience back.