My deep sleep was interrupted by a cold pressure on my left cheek.
With one eye barely open, I made out the words “Oscar Meyer”.
“Eat breakfast with me!” My three-year-old declared, as he shoved the package harder into my face.
It was Saturday at five a.m., and it was after one of those nights when my designated 30 minutes of me-time turned into a four-hour marathon of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. This was then followed by another several hours clutching my pillow in bed and remembering why I don’t watch Unsolved Mysteries, or CSI, or some episodes of Scooby Doo.
So, this morning plea for quality time was less than convenient. My body begged me to roll over and ignore that overly joyful face, but as he stood before me with hot dogs in his hand and hope in his heart, I found the strength to pull myself out of bed.
I would like to say I did this through the self-sacrificial desire to spend time with my child, and to acknowledge the blessings of parenting that God has granted to me. Truth is, though, I knew the kid was going to get himself a hot dog one way or another, so I could either peacefully get up now or later be forced out of bed to dodge flames.
Some choices are made for you.
I often find myself battling against what I think parenting should be. A good mom doesn’t stumble out of bed huffy about spending time with her kids, she rises early to pray. A good mom also wouldn’t dream of microwaving her boy a hot dog on a Walmart brand bun for breakfast, she serves him a healthy meal.
Then again, maybe sometimes being a good mom is nothing more than moving a tired body around when I don’t want to, or even when I find the whole thing a little pointless. Here I was looking like death out of the grave and watching an Oscar Meyer wiener spin around on a plate until the beep. Meanwhile, Connor danced around in the kitchen, seemingly unaware of my lack of enthusiasm for our early morning date.
Balancing his Buzz Lightyear plate, he pointed to the chaise lounge on the deck. And while I would normally say no and plop down on the couch with coffee, this time I decided to just say yes.
So together, we sat outside watching the strokes of daylight coming over the trees. As the sun made its grand entrance the haze started to shed from my eyes, and the real quality in this moment was revealed to me.
Here I was, my son before me and me before the Son watching as another day dawned.
Chomping down on beef franks with mustard and pickle relish and listening to God’s soft whisper in the morning breeze, I knew there was a reason I was there. The sun only rises on God’s command, and in that, we can know there is a purpose every time it does.
There is no ordinary day in God’s extraordinary plan.
There is also no perfect opportunity to mother. Moments often present themselves at what seems to be the worst time, but God doesn’t make mistakes. My tired body was filled as my son rested against it, and my tired heart was filled as the Holy Spirit rested in it.
Strangely, though, one of them was snoring.