Somewhere, in the recesses of my consciousness, I was aware that it was morning, but the drug of sleep was heavy upon me and I didn’t much care. My head was like lead on my pillow and my face turned away from the alarm clock. Even if I had seen the time — even if it had said Noon — I wouldn’t have moved.
I became increasingly aware of the sunshine. I felt it on my eyelids, invading, and I drifted numbly back into oblivion. What was that noise? The children. I don’t care. I’m asleep. And again I fell into the heavy darkness.
I might have stayed that way for a good deal longer had it not been for a tiny sensation on my cheek. A light pressure; gentle and careful. I slowly became conscious of the touch of a little hand upon my face, my forehead, my ear; and then small fingers stroking, correcting strands of displaced hair.
The sensation was confusing. I was still partially in a place of dreams and this moment was like a dream; a most beautiful and tender moment, unlike any other. So unexpected and disarming. I had the sense of being a child. I struggled to recall that I was not a child, but a mother.
Fighting through my sleepy haze, I saw through barely opened eyelids the sight of tiny knees next to me, inching slowly forward, closer and closer. My eyes widened a bit and took in the miniature person by my side, born just eighteen months before, gazing at me with intensity and devotion. His little hand was suspended over my temple and he slowly lowered it again to move the hair from my face. He brought his beautifully intense eyes close enough to me so that our noses were almost touching. The fog was lifting quickly but I was struck silent and still in the presence of this loving innocence.
I had no desire to fall back into darkness but my body lay heavy and unmoving, completely overcome by the moment. He looked straight into my eyes. Watching. Waiting. Inching. My son’s little arm moved forward and stretched across my neck. His knees had finally reached my side and he buried his soft head under my chin. I love you, he said. Actually, he said I wuv ooo… in his tiny little voice that so often makes me laugh. I love you, too, I whispered, and I held him close in the embrace that he had been longing for. And my tears fell into his hair.
Awakening. To the morning. To beauty. To gratitude. To joy. Every once in a while, God offers a moment of grace so pure and beautiful that my life changes forever as He draws me closer to His Sacred Heart. In a household filled with children and life, these moments come with frequency. But I am not always awake.
“…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” ~ 1 Peter 2:9