My son is having a grumpy morning. He didn’t go down for his morning nap for reasons that escape us both. He is therefore grumpy and sad. He bangs his head against things and cries. I call him to come to me but he won’t. He sits and grumbles, occasionally being distracted by toys. I call again and again but he just stares at me and wails. I go and pick him up and for a brief moment he nestles into my shoulder. He then remembers he is really sad and cries. I carry him around and show him stuff. We look at books. I cry with him because I too am tired and grumpy now.
I put him on our balcony and he is briefly calmed by fresh air. Restlessness is in his bones now though. He cannot cope with this tiredness and wants me to know. I keep him awake for as long as I can knowing the consequences for the rest of the day if he naps too early.
We sit and eat. Slowly his head droops down and eyes close as he stuffs banana in his mouth. I take pity on him and we go and sit and rock and sing the wheels on the bus which always go round and round. He wrestles, cries and eventually is still. Sleep overtakes him and I put him gently in his cot.
I sit and wonder again at how much of this morning echoes my relationship with God, at my refusal to find refuge in his arms, at my ease of distraction by shiny things but never for long, at the complaint about someone who works for my best but I just can’t see it. Thankfully God isn’t much like me in this scenario, he doesn’t get frustrated at me or grumpy at me. He is patient and really does know what is best even though I can’t see that.
As I rock my boy to sleep I sense some of the mother heart of God as he gently holds me as I cry and keeps on loving me through my grumpiness. He is the eternally patient parent, never running out of energy to love. I am grateful for these pictures in my day, that as we play out our tired grumpy morning I am being taught of a bigger, more wonderful, love in this world.
Postscript: Sonface has now woken up after a 2 hour nap, I’m hopeful our afternoon will be better than this morning. Sleep does everyone a world of good after all.