You know, lately Thomas and I have been working very hard at forming good habits/not forming poor habits with Malachi. You know the ones I'm talking about. He needs to get in the habit of eating well. He doesn't need to get in the habit of playing during a meal and then coming back for multiple bites between playing with his train, book, Gizzy, George, respectively. He needs to get in the habit of wake up/diaper change/breakfast/get dressed...etc. He doesn't need to get in the habit of drinking with his meal because then his drink is all he'll want. He needs to get in the habit of picking his toys up before bed. (okay, really just learning that habit, and it's more like we put up, but we don't take our hand off the toy because we're not ready to ACTUALLY put it up yet) He doesn't need to get in the habit of _________________.
Last week, I learned something. Maybe it's okay to not worry so much about forming/not forming habits. As I laid him down in our bed one evening last week to cuddle and snuggle and love on him as he drifted off into dreamland my first thought was that I need to be careful not to form a habit of this so he doesn't depend on it to go to sleep. Yet, as I stroked the top of his beautiful little head and kissed his sweet nose, and in between adorable smiles and sucks on the paci, something struck me. (No, not the paci that hit my nose while we were playing...) What struck me was that sometimes I need to just chill and realize that these times when I get to cuddle and snuggle and kiss that sweet Johnson's Baby Lotion smelling forehead will be gone all too soon. No, I don't want to have a 5 year old that has to lay in mommy and daddy's bed to go to sleep. But, what I do want is a 5 year old who knows that it's OKAY if he just wants to lay with mommy and daddy before visions of sugarplums start dancing in his head!! I want him to know it's okay if he just wants to be left alone with Gizzy and his blankie and drift off to sleep alone.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm learning that taking it one day at a time and cherishing EVERY moment can't start early enough. I already miss so much having to work full-time. So, while I don't want to start forming REALLY bad habits, I'm giving up on the notion that I can start from birth training my child to NEVER have a bad habit (relatively speaking, of course). Last night as I laid with him, again, in our bed, patting his bottom in between no-no's and various renditions of Twinkle Twinkle and This Little Light of Mine, and giggling because I think I just have the cutest baby with the cutest laugh, ever, I figured it all out. The meaning of my life, that is. I'm here to raise my son (and any more that God chooses to bless us with) in the knowledge of the One True God, first. I'm here to raise him to be a happy, healthy and productive member of society and an example of Christ to the world. But last night, with the weight of the world off my shoulders, as my beautiful baby laid sleeping beside me, I gave up. I gave up the urge to put him in his bed because that's what I "should" do. I laid there with him for about 30 minutes just watching him sleep and kissing his head and praying, thanking God for him. And I realized, I may never be the "perfect" mother, but I can be the kind of mother God wants me to be. The kind of mother that is gentle with her manner but firm in her teaching. The kind of mother that speaks loving words often, correcting and chastising when needed. The kind of mother that realizes that some habits are okay, and life isn't perfect, and she's not perfect and that sometimes it's perfectly acceptable, even expected, for a mommy and son to lay down together and cuddle at night because that night will be gone all too soon.