Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nap time, Part 3 (the post-nap)

“Above all, love each other deeply…” 1 Peter 4:8

OK, the cruise is over and I’m back to the last story in the “napping” series about my beautiful granddaughter, Reese. One of the beauties about naptime is the opportunity for rest and escape from the pressures of life. Imagine having to spend all that time as a child figuring out how to talk and eat and crawl. It's a full-time job and exhausting! Don’t you remember? Mom and dad need a break too for relaxing and regrouping. But like any rest time, it finally comes to an end and that’s good. Life is meant to be lived together, not separately and too much naptime isn't good for baby or mom (trust me).

Most naptimes end when the baby monitor comes alive. Most babies don't announce calmly, “Oh mother, my nap is over.” Most naptimes end with a few coo’s and then that unique cry that can only mean “my diaper is full and my stomach is empty- now get in here!”

When naptime is over, several options exist:

1. Leave the baby in the nursery to feed herself and change her own diaper. That way, she’ll learn to take care of herself later in life.

2. Pretend like you don't hear him crying. Maybe someone in the neighborhood will hear the crying and take care of the problem for you.

3. Turn up the volume on the TV so you don't hear the crying. After all, the end of Wheel of Fortune is the best part!

4. Grab that little munchkin; give her a hug, a new diaper and a meal!

Of course, number 4 is the correct choice. When break time is over, it’s time to grab those we love and hug them like we’ll never let them go. Sure, the break is great, but there is nothing like the post-nap snuggle with a baby. Why do babies feel so cuddly after their nap? I think it’s because they’ve missed us and we’ve missed them.

I guess that’s the whole point. When we’re with someone a lot, we tend to take them for granted. Our kids didn't seem so sweet on the 9th hour of a 10-hour road trip. They were hungry, tired and needy. I was too. But when I’d have to leave town for a week, I loved coming home to my beautiful family waiting to give me a hug in the driveway.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” That’s supposed to mean that the lack of something increases the desire for it. But sometimes our greatest blessings get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes we forget what is really important.

So enjoy that post-nap snuggle. As a matter of fact, enjoy all the phases of growth with your child. Because, as we know, one day it will come to an end. They will leave home and eventually we’ll all go to our heavenly home.

So get in there to your little munchkin, change that diaper and hug them like you’ll never let go.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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