Since the moment Wade arrived, he’s been my little side kick. We have never been more than a room or two apart, so its safe to assume that when its time for him to sleep, I’m right there with him. Most of the time I nurse him until he falls off and then we rock or just lay together until he drifts off to sleep.
About two weeks ago, a weird thing started happening. I noticed that if I needed to get up to go help Ronnie or answer the door, I would come back and he would be asleep. He had fallen asleep on his own without a peep! This was all new parenting territory for me since Ronnie had always cried himself to sleep. This happened a few more times before I decided it was time for me to try it out on purpose. I’d nurse him down and then give him his paci when he was done. Still wide awake, he’d lay there as I quietly left the room. The next thing I know, he’s sleeping.
I was perplexed. How did he self-soothe so easily? Shouldn’t he be “spoiled” since I have held him so much and have been there at his every beckon call since birth? And then I remembered why I have taken this approach in the first place.
For his entire life (all four months), he has never had to cry for more than a few minutes before I am at his side. I may not always be able to get him to stop crying, but I respond as quickly as possible. Yes, there have been moments when I seriously doubted my decision to do this because it was simply so exhausting. But a little prayer puts my woes at ease.
Since, as parents, we are our children’s first representation of God, I decided to take my advice from the Good Book instead of well-meaning family, friends, and parenting manuals. In the Old Testament alone, scripture holds more than one hundred references to how people communicate with God through crying. Since a baby can’t talk yet, crying is his only communication. A baby is communicating his needs with a parent just as we communicate our needs to God.
Psalm 34:17 says “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.” Does God let us cry-it-out or is he there for us each and every time we cry out for help? I can’t speak for others, but I know that God has always been there when I, God’s child, needed him. So, why shouldn’t I be there when my children need me?
Because I know that I am safe in the comfort of my Lord, I can rest at peace throughout the more difficult moments of my life. I know that if I need him and I cry out, the Lord will respond with compassion. Wade was able to self-soothe himself to sleep because he knows I am always nearby and if he should need me, I’ll be there.
That miraculous Bible – it really is the ultimate manual for life, isn’t it?