By: Jennifer Murray

The Moment I Almost Let Slip Away…

 sleeping under the christmas tree

My impatience had been tested and I had fallen.  I was worn.  I was ready to be done for the night, yet his pleadings and persistence would not allow me to quit. Every excuse for being out of bed I had met with a request to return to his bed.

A warning.  A stern threat.  A logical answer to his illogical reasoning. An exhausted bargain as I caught my breath from another trip up the stairs.

Sometime after the second hour of this bedtime battle, he sadly asked me not to be mad at him and it ripped my heart into pieces.  My attempts to hide my frustration were poorly executed.  Three year olds are so instinctively good at honesty, and his own has revealed my selfishness.  

I asked him to come down the stairs and into my arms.  I held him there and talked to him about my love for him. I wept tears of remorse, and he smiled shyly at me. The time was tender and it was fleeting. 

Soon he’ll grow out of those sweet footed pajamas. Soon he’ll be too big to fit in my lap.  Soon he’ll not beg me for yet another hug. Soon he’ll love his sleep more than his one on one time with his mama.

I squeezed him a little tighter and asked if he wanted to sleep by the Christmas tree.  His stubbornness fought sleep for just a while longer.  It overtook him and I watched him sleep in the tree light.

Suddenly instead of wishing the night to pass, I begged it to stand still. I almost let this moment slip away and now I’ve chosen to cherish it.

Just he and I in the light of the tree.

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20 Responses to “The Moment I Almost Let Slip Away…”

  1. Kari
    January 3, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. I also have a three year old son who tries our patience at bedtime. Thanks for reminding me that all too soon his innocence will pass and to cherish each moment with him.

  2. Genevieve Thul @ Turquoise Gates
    January 3, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Every.day. I do this. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. HoundDogMom (Sherri)
    January 3, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks for sharing such a sweet/trying moment. Come from a mother of one who is currently 29. They will out grow those sweet footed pajamas, but they won’t out grow the need for a hug from Mom every now and then no matter how old they get. My son is 29 and he will get down, but the first thing he thinks of is a “GOOD” hug from Mom to make it all better. Sherri

  4. Charity
    January 3, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Ugggggggh! Tears! Beautiful post Jen.

  5. debbie Blevins
    January 3, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    What a beautiful post – and what a beautiful way to start the new year. THANKS for your sharing. P.S. I’m a follower through the Goerlich posts.

  6. Suzy
    January 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Aw, Jen! Love, love, love the pic of Clark (or is it Brooks?) sleeping by the Christmas tree. I actually had a similar moment last month … for some reason, Jude was up in the middle of the night, screaming for me to pick him up. I didn’t want to spoil him, so I held off going into the nursery. But then I decided who cares if he’s spoiled by mommy holding him during the middle of the night once in a blue moon?? I took him out to the living room and we cuddled until he fell back asleep, and I truly felt what a privilege it was to do that now that the days of being up all night with four babies are over. Happy New Year!

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at four-by-two.blogspot.com.

  7. Erica
    January 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Ugh, I hate it when I let, or almost let, moments like this pass too. It mainly happens to me at night – during the day I’m usually pretty good at reminding myself how precious these moments are. But at night I’m exhausted. I’ve got to remember, especially then, to hold and love and cuddle that sweet little thing! And to remember that for her, fears are completely different from what they are for me, and she could truly need some mommy time.

  8. Sarah
    January 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    So sweet. I’m always heart broken when I realize I’ve let a moment slip by me. But it’s those times when a lightbulb goes off and I realize what I’m suppose to be doing – loving them, cherishing my time while they are young – that are the best.

  9. Kate
    January 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Ok, tears running down my face!

    So glad you got to share a special moment like that with Clark. I’m going to keep my eyes (and heart) open for moments where I can set my own selfishness aside and embrace the moment with my boys. Thanks for the insight!

    Love you bunches sweet friend. (give that Clark a big hug from Ms. Kate!!) (ok, give them ALL a big hug from Ms. Kate!!)

  10. Michelle Krol
    January 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Heartfelt, honest and so true. I have almost made it a tradition with E having him fall asleep in my arms at least once during the Christmas Season near the tree. It happened with him by accident too and I paused to take it in. I am not sure how I’ll manage it with my little 4, but I will.

    Jen, the honesty you have with your boys will mean so much to them, it will mean you are human, you make mistakes, but much more than that it will leave the impression that you can admit them, be forgiven (yes even by a little man) and move forward. I think it is so important that kids know we aren’t perfect and it’s so humbling. While I don’t like the mistake, I love the moments we can use with little eyes watching, I promise you they speak volumes especially later on in their lives. Nice job my friend! Love this! Michelle

  11. Barbara Manatee
    January 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    oh Jen…this makes me want to go grab my kids out of bed and go snuggle with them, right now….

    so sweet, so needed to hear. Its tough in the busy, stressful days to not wish for that quiet to come each evening…but the reminder that the days of our sweet lil ones is fading faster than we can even imagine is much needed!!

    Happy New year!

  12. punkinmama
    January 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Beautiful. So glad you shared this. I struggle with this so much.

    I feel so bad when I get frustrated with Punkin, but at the same time, I want him to know he can’t just “walk all over me” either. I need to remember to choose grace rather than punishment more often.

  13. moosh in indy.
    January 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    loooooooove.

  14. Jen
    January 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    So awesome that God showed you this moment, I would’ve done the same thing you were doing. Precious!

  15. Miriam
    January 4, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    tears..what a beautiful post. I know the bedtime struggle you mention and it’s so frustrating. But then there are the nights I take one of them to bed w/me and it’s so wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing..

  16. stacey McCastlain
    January 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I can so relate to this. You wrote it beautifully. Thank you!

  17. Lesley
    January 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    So lovely. I love that you recognized it for what it was!

  18. Jessica
    January 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    BEAUTIFUL picture and well written. Brought tears to my eyes. We all know how hard it is to stop and just enjoy these moments sometimes.

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

      Thank you, Jessica. It brought me to tears to write as well. Hope it can be an encouragement to all of us who struggle at bedtime!

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