The room was empty and silent, except for a lump under the covers on the bed.
“Isaac?” I call out.
Chortles and giggles emanate from the covers.
Sigh. I was tired. Exhausted, actually. My husband had been out of town for a week, which meant I wasn’t sleeping well, and all I wanted was to get the kids in bed and enjoy a little bit of silence before going to my own bed and…not sleeping. But I decided to play along, albeit less than half-heartedly.
“Oh no,” my voice flat. “Whatever will I do without my little boy?”
“And why is the bed so lumpy? I should smooth this out.”
Belly laughs explode as I “fix the covers,” and discover that Isaac was, in fact, in the room all along.
His face was radiant and if he had smiled any bigger I think he might have exploded. He was rolling with laughter, thoroughly pleased with his trick. And my heart melted…and broke just a little.
He wasn’t being defiant or disobedient. He was just being a joyful, funny-as-all-getout 5 year old boy. His laughter was infectious and the fact that I played along instead of scolding bonded us and made bedtime more pleasant for both of us. I decided to embrace the giggling covers, since it was apparent he was going to do this every night for a while.
The next night, sure enough, he repeated the show. Only this time, I fully engaged using my best damsel in distress acting and collapsing on the lumps in despair. We laughed and hugged and he needed a little extra snuggle in order to settle down and be ready to sleep. But it was oh so worth it.
And later that night, when he awoke with a bad dream and my daughter needed some reassurance on a night where sleep eluded her, I was okay with it. Because I had already decided beforehand I was going to embrace the moment, I was already in “Compassionate Mommy Mode” and the interruptions to my night were not interruptions. They were chances to love on my kids and be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.
I think we have bought into the lie that mothering is hard and therefore everything about mothering should be hard, and the whole world needs to know exactly how hard and why. The reality, however, is that these children have been entrusted to me by God, and while it is in fact hard work, it is more importantly, a calling. A high honor and privilege that I myself take for granted and lack appreciation for all too often.
So, friends, I’m deciding to continue to embrace the giggling covers. To discover anew the beauty of motherhood and revel in the mundane rather than wishing it away. Will you join me? Do you need to embrace the giggling tonight?