Sunday night, as I drove home from the final hurrah of our weekend I had one prayer. Please let her fall asleep on the way home. I was worn from two days of excited energy and endless chatter as we moved from activity to activity. I wanted peace and an early night. Please let her fall asleep. I prayed as I ignored the pleas of I’m bored and resisted the temptation to distract with a movie or book. She needed to sleep. GO to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. I repeated my silent mantra as I caught a glimpse of her eyes rolling back and snap back to attention. For an hour the battle raged. My fervent hope and her stubborn resistant. Towards the end it started to get ugly. There was seat kicking (her) and shouting (me). As we pulled into the garage I admitted defeat. She was not asleep. She bounded into the house with over tired energy, babbling on about this and that to anyone who wanted to listen and any one who did not. I trudged in the house slowly – in disbelieve that she was not asleep.
As I trudged up the stairs with Dori behind me, something changed. I decided a bath would calm her a bit and she needed her hair conditioned after being free all day. I warmed her in the water, washed and conditioned her hair, washed off face paint, sweat and sticky. She slowed down. I drained the water and dried her off, softly applying lotion scented with lavender. My voice was calm, she was quiet. We watched cartoon bears work out their family mishaps as I worked out the snarls that remained in her hair. We watched reruns of the Huxtables making us smile as I parted and braided. We read about Moses and Pharoah – that stubborn soul, and we prayed. Thank you for cousins and parties and bounces and face paint. Thank you for mommy days. I tucked her under a fuzzy pink blanket and rubbed her back and prayed silently. Prayed for her heart , prayed for her strength,and prayed for her to sleep well through the night. And I was completely at peace.
I did not get the answer to the prayer in the car that I wanted. I got an answer I needed more. An extra hour to slowly unwind , settle and restore. A good end for both of us – gentle and secure. God answered the prayer I should have prayed – a prayer for patience and compassion and strength wisdom. He chase away the frustration and strain of the day. He gave me peace – because He loves me.