Last night, I had my support group at church. On the way back to the car, my son completely ate it on the sidewalk when he was “trying” to run. It was like slow motion. I saw it coming and then sure enough, he’s on the floor crying. The rest of the night he was in complete meltdown mode.
And as I put him to bed, he asked me to lay down with him. So, I squeezed my adult body into his toddler bed and quietly watched him as he slowly started to fall asleep. And then it hit me. I almost missed this. I almost missed this beautiful moment with my son.
When I was drowning in my marriage, I didn’t value the quiet moments I had with him. I should have found peace in simply being still. Instead, I hurried through bedtime because of all the things I still “had” to do. I HAD to clean the kitchen, put the dishes away, sweep the floor, spend time with my husband and then do a little bit of work before finally crashing for the night.
For most of my son’s life, putting him to bed seemed like another item on my checklist.
Go to work. Check.
Make dinner. Check.
Give my husband attention. Check.
Then go to bed and start the whole thing all over again.
It’s amazing how many times post-separation I have sat in the dark holding my son completely content. Content with the quiet. Content in the moment.
I haven’t cared if there were dishes in the sink or the living room was a mess. And the reality is, it’s my fault. I let these insignificant to-do items distract me from enjoying being his mother.
In the last three months, I have laughed, played, and had more patience with my son than I have most of his life. How sad is that? Now, I’m not saying I’m a horrible mother. Not even close. Just that while the absence of my relationship has brought me tremendous pain, it has also shown me what’s important.
So as I lay quietly in the dark, watching my son sleep, I begin to see God’s purpose in my life. That this horrible, devastating, heartbreaking thing that happened to me is giving me these amazing moments with my son that I would have missed otherwise. That I am beginning to find peace through the absence of my husband by focusing on God. And by focusing on God, I have seen the beauty that was right in front of me.