Here we are in the dead of winter. The daylight […]
Here we are in the dead of winter. The daylight hours are short. The cold bites every time I step outside, and we’re in the middle of snowpocalypse 2015. Feeling the warm sun on my skin has become a vague and distant memory. In fact, it might be something I just dreamed about once but was never real. It’s tempting to think we’ll never see sunshine again or know the pleasant warmth it brings. In the middle of winter, it feels as though winter will last forever.
Yet, we all know that this season will pass. Gradually, the days will lengthen and the sun will break through the clouds once again. With enough patience, my skin might even change from pasty white to a light bronze color.
So it is with the seasons of infancy. Teething has brought upon us a sort of “winter.” The nights are long as he has to nurse multiple times in order to be soothed to sleep. It’s tempting to think that we’ll never see a full night of sleep again. In the middle of teething, it feels as though teething will last forever.
Yet, we know that this too shall pass. Eventually, all the teeth come in. This season will draw to a close and give way to a new season. Just as spring brings with it new life and new possibilities, so too does the post-teething phase. With the new teeth, we can explore new food. The demands on mommy go down a bit. Mother and child will sleep through the night. My wife will have her energy back, and all kinds of new possibilities will become available to us once again.
For now, we are in the winter of teething. I do not wish it away, though. Every season has its purpose. To wish it away is to miss its purpose. Moreover, this season is short-lived in the scheme of things. We’ll spend a few months gritting our teeth while he gets his, and then it will be over. We’ll spend the next several decades reminiscing about this time. The unpleasantness of teething is a small price to pay for the benefit it brings.
Getting through the winter is made bearable by remembering the hope of what lies on the other side. If we lose sight of that, we lose our hope. If we lose our hope, we begin to resent this season and miss its purpose. Infancy is too precious a thing to be missing its purpose. So, my wife and I remind each other of our hope so that we don’t miss the precious purpose of this time. We take the long view of things so that we don’t give in to despair in the present.
As a great poet has said, “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Indeed, there is weeping at night. It comes from our little guy as the inflammation in his gums wakes him. But we know that there is joy coming in the morning.