Four-year-old Mary, who rarely wakes at night, came out to the living room at 11:40 PM tonight. She occasionally has what appear to be night terrors, though they're mild ones. She cries softly and looks at me as though I'm a stranger--as though she's seeing right through me. She won't talk at all or acknowledge that I've spoken. I lead her back to bed and lie down with her.
Usually after fifteen minutes she looks at me appreciatively, as though she recognizes me finally, but she's surprised to see me in her bed. Still though, she doesn't speak. She just rolls over and goes back to sleep. At peace.
As I lay there tonight trying to comfort her without agitating her, gratitude overwhelmed me. It feels so wonderful, being a mom. Being a comforter. I'd just finished a letter to my precious penpal from India, and that too, filled me with the same gratitude.
I get to comfort children. To love them. To pray for their todays and tomorrows. I get to.
There's no greater joy!