I startle at the shuffling of tiny feet across our bedroom floor. I blink through the heaviness to see the shape of our youngest son silhouetted against pale morning light.
I heft my gaze to blazing numbers on the night stand. “Six twenty-two!” the clock defies. That’s exactly eight minutes before I wanted to get up. Just like yesterday, and the day before.
I close my eyes for one lingering moment before focusing them again on our son. I see his tightly-fitting striped pajamas in black-and-white, though I know they’re blue and green. He stands patiently beside my bed, hugging his love-worn bear beneath his chin while sucking his thumb. He breaks the habit only to say, with all the enthusiasm a whisper can contain, “Mommy, I ‘wake!”
My weary eyes close again in denial, and I am caught in tension. The dream world calls me back to the place where I am free to make my own choices, free to follow whims and fancies at my leisure. I begin to succumb to the dream, lulled into complacency, but a voice of duty—whether internal or external I do not know—keeps guilting me back to the present.
As the fog of sleep begins to lift, the awareness dawns that I am needed. Gone are the days of freedom. My life is no longer my own. I ask the Giver for strength as I pull the covers up under my chin.
I sense our toddler moving closer to the bed. He touches me and I can feel his breath on my face as he gently whispers, “Mommy, I ‘wake.”
Our bed has never seemed more comfortable to me than at this very moment. The weight of the blanket and cleanness of sheets overwhelm my sense of duty as the plush mattress cradles my body and soothes my guilt. Staying is the easy choice.
I cling to the comforts of my pillow and sink further into its embrace where sleep once again pursues me. The spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.
Through the siren call of ease and self, through the temptation of luxury and comfort, a voice of Love reaches in and pulls me to reality once more.
This patient Voice—how both internal and external I do not know—is drawing me out of my comforts into the cold, stark reality of the day. Love’s enduring call fills me and prepares my heart for the hours of service that await. Love itself rouses my resting body to motion.
I, Mommy, wake.