The Power of a Praying Gran (and other folks in my extended village)

My son isn’t sleeping through the night.

Apparently he feels it is his toddler right, seeing as how he officially entered toddlerhood in September and no longer needs to flash the “early admit” card, to keep us on our toes.¬† One way of doing that is to wake up randomly in the middle of the night:¬† sometimes crying in his sleep, sometimes yelling as he’s awake, many times attempting to launch over me into the middle of his parents’ bed:¬† let me tell you, it’s not the most fun way to wake in the middle of the night having a toddler straddling you staring in your face saying,¬† “Dah!”

Ever since Judah was 6 months, he’s slept through the night almost every night.¬† Which has been delightful!¬† Except I didn’t take it as a delight, but rather a given:¬† he has a lot of daytime energy, and so I believe he should NOT have a lot of nighttime energy – it’s the tradeoff.¬† But he didn’t sign on to that agreement.¬† And now that he’s not sleeping, now that I’m trying to reason with him in my nighttime deliriousness and my daytime sleep-deprived lucidity (that’s how tired I get – I’m trying to reason with a toddler, and I think it should work – HA!), now I realize that it’s somewhat of a gift to have a sleeping child, I’d like it back.

So I try everything I can think of.

Making sure he gets people interaction during the day

Playing with him hard a couple hours before bed

Not feeding him sugar

Feeding him protein before bed

Having a wind-down time

Having Jason read him sleepytime stories

Letting him sleep with his books and alarm clock (he likes to hold things – lots of things)

Plumping up his mattress and putting heavier blankets on him

Making sure the fan is on but not blowing on him

Giving him a drink of water before bed (last night was the first time Рtotally backfired Рhe wanted to sleep with the cup and threw his very first, very serious two-year-old tantrum -  not so condusive towards calm, sleepytime thoughts)

I used to be able to pull this off in college.¬† I used to sleep minimal hours and go to class and function as a semi-normal human being – granted, I drank lots of caffeine, ate lots of sugar, and slept 12 hours a night on the weekends.¬† But I can’t do this anymore:¬† one day last week I left my carlights on . . . twice.¬† I have don’t that in years!

My mama called me to see how I was doing, and I told her about the carlights.¬† “I just can’t do this!”¬† “And you shouldn’t have to, honey” was her kind response, reminding me that this too shall pass at some point.¬† It’s a phase – a process, not a destination.¬† And my father kindly reminds me that I woke him and Mom up every night for three years.¬† Oh, yeah.

The morning after I talked to Mom, something seemed wrong.¬† What was it?¬† I had slept through the night!!¬† My first thought:¬† “Never doubt the power of a praying Gran!”¬† It turns out that she and a group of folks up at her church prayed for Judah and Jason and me that night.¬† The next couple of nights he woke up repeatedly.¬† But last night, he only woke up once and went right back to bed.

It floors me when prayer affects me in a practical/tangible way.¬† Which sounds silly to say:¬† I’m sure praying for character and attitude changes is practical and tangible, but just not as real to me in this phase of my life.¬† And how wonderful to know that strangers are interceding on my family’s behalf to God!¬† I feel so much stronger, supported – part of the Body.¬† I want to do the same for others in return, whether or not I let them know.

It really takes a village to raise a kid; and while my immediate family doesn’t live in our town, they and their village are such a support to us.¬† I shared this story with my Bible study, noting, “Never doubt the power of a praying Grandmother!”, and they all nodded their heads vigorously as though letting me in on a secret I didn’t know until then.¬† Oh, those Grandmothers – a sneaky, amazing bunch they are.¬† πŸ™‚

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