All Mama Wants is a Silent Night, Part Two

Miles, in a surprising turn of events, slept well last night.

Because the sleep gods are merciless, mercurial beings, however, he was the only person in this house who did.

Sleep well, that is.

Sometime between 8 p.m. and midnight, both girls’ digestive systems went into full revolt and determined to empty themselves by any means necessary. And so the night became a blur of changing sheets and rubbing backs and wiping mouths, of whispering comfort to miserable little girls.

Which was not exactly my idea of a fun night.

Yesterday morning, we received notice that our homeowners insurance will not renew this year.

Though frustrating, this was not a complete surprise. The devastating, headline-generating wildfires of recent years have insurers on edge, and the powers-that-be have designated our area “high-risk.” Homeowners are losing their coverage throughout our county and our state.

Surprise or not, I spent the bulk of my afternoon on the phone, talking to agents and brokers and salespeople, researching our options, answering the same questions (“When was your house built?” “What’s the square footage?” “Do you have a trampoline or a pool?”) over and over and over again.

Which was not exactly my idea of a fun afternoon.

As it turns out, I am not nearly so in control of my life as I like to think that I am.

This is not news, but somehow, I need to be reminded of this fact on a regular basis.

When you are three or you are five, it is a traumatic thing to wake up vomiting.

(Come to think of it, it is a traumatic thing to wake up vomiting no matter your age.)

But when you are three or you are five, and you wake up vomiting in the middle of the night, it might be that you call for your [exhausted] parents with great urgency, an urgency that rapidly escalates in both volume and pitch when they take longer than a few seconds to groggily respond to your need.

The first few times they called, I was all solicitude and grace, all warm touches and murmured compassion.

But as the night wore on and my hope for rest disappeared, taking my compassion with it, I had to bite my tongue, hard, to keep myself from meeting their impatience with my own.

As it also turns out, I am not nearly so selfless as I like to think that I am.

Which is, again, not news. And which also bears repeating, more often than I care to admit.

I’ve found it is usually the small things – the middle-of-the-night sickness, the inconvenience of having to find new insurance – that reveal the uglier bits of my heart.

But perhaps even this is grace, for it offers plenty of opportunity for those ugly bits to be revealed, for me to practice living out love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.

And when it comes to living out such things, Heaven knows I could use all the practice I can get.

2 response to "All Mama Wants is a Silent Night, Part Two"

  1. By: Jamie Posted: January 12, 2020

    My son torturing/”loving” the cat and phone calls with our electric company were my nuisances this past week, which unfortunately sent me over the edge. Some days are so hard and my patience can’t sustain them.

    • By: Jenn Posted: January 13, 2020

      Yes, to all this. Some days are just hard. Hang in there.

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