Humility has a way of knocking one down a peg or two when needed, eh?

I’m revisiting one of my favorite posts. At three years later it is as applicable today as then!  My nearly eight year old still enjoys a snuggle and often requests that I stay longer…

Signed print celebrating Motherhood by Katie m. Berggren (click image for details)


I woke up, as I do every weekday morning,  at 6:30 eager to get writing. Some thoughts on humility had been percolating in my brain all weekend but I hadn’t had the chance to to put a pen to paper or fingers to keys. I always have this idea that I will write my posts ahead of time but it never seems to happen that way. Occasionally I get one done a day before I plan to post it, but more often I am typing up to the last minute of my personal deadline to post by 9:00am.

Ahh the best laid plans… etc. Humility had another idea for me.

I had just gotten down to business, reviewing some old Humility posts and quotes to get me in the humility mood, when I heard a loud cry of “Mommy!” coming from the other room.

“Oh, no. What now?” was the first thought in my head. It was way too early for her to be awake and I needed the time to get my post written.  I sat still for a minute, since my daughter sometimes cries out in her sleep and then falls immediately back to sleep. Today this would not be the case.

“Mommy, come here!”

I go to her. “What’s wrong sweets? It is still very early for you. Do you need me to lay with you a minute?”

She sleepily nods yes and  I lie down next to her. As any parent who has done the very thing knows, laying down next to your child can be a slippery slope. When I’ve done so in the evening, I have lost the whole night because I also fell asleep.

I was quick to suggest lying down with her because most of the time if she calls for me I can get her back to sleep in seconds if she just relaxes. Snuggling up next to me usually does the trick and then I can perform the acrobatic feat needed to extricate myself without disturbing her. Most of the time the entire process lasts less then ten minutes.

Today, perhaps because I was feeling the pull of my computer, I misjudged the depth of her sleep and tried to leave before she had really settled down, and got caught with a “Mommy please stay with me!” My daughter then snuggled closer, capturing me in her death grip as she settled most of her body on top of mine.  I realized there would be no sneaking away.

I would have loved to take the opportunity to grab a little more sleep myself but the cup of coffee I had consumed just minutes earlier was doing its job. So there I was, feeling like I was being held hostage by my four year old, with quotes of humility swirling in my head.

And then a favorite popped up.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”  ~C.S. Lewis

I then realized that every thought that had been circulating in my head was all about me! I needed to get back to my work. How could I interact in a way that would get me out of here quicker? Why did she need me today when I was already behind?

Wow. Humility has a way of knocking one down a peg or two when needed eh?

In that moment I started to think about what my daughter might need. She is four. She wanted her mommy. In her sleepy slumber the first person in the world she thought of was me! How did I ever get so lucky?

The more I thought about her needs the more staying there, rather then leaping back to work, started to feel like a real treat. I reminded myself that in too short a time she won’t be calling for me and at 10 or 14 she is rather likely going to be done with the snuggling. I followed the in and out of her breath, feeling the rise and fall on my own chest and hugged her a little tighter. I could feel her relax. She knew I wasn’t going to sneak away and fell back to sleep.

I also knew I could have left then. Her limp little body told me that she no longer needed me to hold her yet I chose to stay. Humility had showed me that I needed these precious moments, perhaps even more then she did. In the years to come I will cherish this morning and others that I choose stay wrapped in my little girls arms.

And so, today I offer the following Humility inspired Bliss Initiative. The next time you feel your self getting frustrated by another person, try considering that C.S. Lewis quote. See if you too can make it a little less about you and feel the bliss seep into your soul!

30 thoughts on “Humility has a way of knocking one down a peg or two when needed, eh?

  1. Very timely message. My daughter is long past four, but sometimes my 84-year-old mother needs more of my time and I’m always so busy. I’ll keep that quote in mind, believe me, next time my mom calls.

    • Kathy says:

      Gale, thank you for stopping by to comment. You remind me that my mother also deserves more from me as well. It is so easy to not take the time and it will haunt us forever if we don’t.

  2. What a story this was, Kathy! And what a beautiful quote, too. It showed up at the most perfect moment. And I think the quote can be applied to many life situations. Thank you!

  3. Kathy, I love this. My daughter is 8, and I realize our snuggly days are quickly becoming numbered. The blog will always be there: but our children wanting to spend time being close to us may pass. Our kids are so much more precious than any post. Thanks for reminding me of this!

    • Kathy says:

      Ami, my heart is already breaking at the thought of 8 meaning less snuggling. Thank you for taking the time to comment and make me realize even more how precious this morning was!

  4. You bring back some great memories for me of many evenings cuddling with my son as he was falling asleep. I remember times of frustration because I had to get things done and couldn’t leave his side without upsetting him. But then I remember the moments that I was at peace with letting go of “getting stuff done” because the moments with him were too precious to rush through and escape. I fell asleep many nights right there next to him, and I don’t regret those moments at all. Humility has a way of showing us the important things in life. It persuades us to consider a perspective outside of ourselves, and yet it magically ends up offering the better option for ourselves anyway.

    Great post Kathy, thanks for reminding me of those great moments!

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you Jason! What a treat to hear you have had some of the same moments.

      ” it magically ends up offering the better option for ourselves anyway” … brilliant!

  5. Oh Kathy ~ this is lovely ~ thank you! I’m honored that you found one of my paintings to so perfectly suit your post. And I needed these words today, of yours, and C.S. Lewis’ quote, too.
    Thank you so much,
    Katie m. Berggren

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad you liked it! Your picture is perfect. It spoke entirely to what I was feeling. I really am thrilled to share it. I am also glad that the message spoke to you.

      Thank you so much for stopping by to comment!

  6. Tamara says:

    This is lovely Kathy. I often think we have to hold and hug our kids while we can because it won’t be long before they won’t want to be seen with us. Of course I hear they come around later in life but who knows if we’ll even be around. xoxo

  7. Such a beautiful story! Brought me right back to those countless evenings and mornings when I found myself in that very situation. Snuggling into that soft, sweet-smelling toddler body – but thinking all the while about how soon I could get away and do what “I” want to do.
    Ah, and how quickly the years passed. Those moments are lost forever. I’m so glad that quote found it’s way into your heart and mind and you could bask in the pleasures of being a mommy to your precious daughter. Yes, parenting makes us humble!

  8. Peach says:

    This brought me to tears. I’m a newly divorced, full time working mommy to two toddlers and I can honestly say that more often than not my thoughts are very selfish and overwhelmed by how difficult my situation currently is. Those 2:00am mornings where my babies don’t want to sleep drive me insane. I’m consumed with thoughts of my job, my lack of sleep- but not on them. Their pain, their fear, their need.

    And worse, this reminded me of how short the time of them needing me is. What a good reminder, and what a good time to receive it. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You just made this bloggers day! To know that your posts have made a difference is the greatest gift! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your touching comment!

      Please don’t be too hard on yourself, you are juggling a lot! Just let this be a gentle reminder for what you really want!

  9. What a wonderful message! It is hard to remember that we need to sometimes forget the to-do list and be in the moment with our children.
    I just had a lovely morning snuggle session with my almost 3yr old in my bed this morning. It is a rare thing that he slows down long enough to snuggle so I sucked it all in. =)

    • Kathy says:

      Good for you Missy! My girl doesn’t slow much either so I completely understand! I’m really glad you liked my post!

  10. Kathy, your post speaks to one of the most challenging aspects of motherhood: balancing your needs with your child’s and being at peace with your current choice! Very well said!

  11. Wow! Such an adorable daughter and such a great story and quote. I don’t have any kids but I do know that in NO time at all, they grow up and are off to college and married before you know it! So glad you take time to treasure the moments that you do have. The moments that will never come again, some of them.

    Great quote as well by C.S. Lewis

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