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…
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!