I am determined not to be the mother who has to train their 4 year old child to sleep alone. Enter Nanny 911. Of course, considering mine is still in the early-toddler stage, I have a few years. But the reality is, he wakes up in sheer panic. Panicked screams as though he has been left alone in a black void of darkness and more than the boogey-man threatens his existance. At some point, he'll learn that mommy is still here, and he'll remain in his crib. Which has rockin' cool Dr. Seuss sheets, by the way. But now that he has two year molars threatening his little mouth, I can't help but think it's a combination of panic and pain.
Someday as he learns to be alone, as he learns to trust that mommy and daddy will come back, as he learns that separation is not only okay, but needed, he'll also learn that in the walk of faith, the exact opposite is preferred. Isn't it interesting that the sin-filled earth got it all wrong again? In life, we have to learn to be independent, self-reliant, sleep alone, have FAITH that mommy is in the next room. In our Spiritual life, the Lord wants us to experience separation-anxiety. We SHOULD panic when we get too far away from Him. We SHOULD go into hysterics when we suddenly find we've walked into blackness by ourselves. We SHOULD flip out when something is too hard and we can't do it alone.
So I'm teaching my son to be independent and tonight he curls in his crib beneath his "bah" (blanky). No wonder we get mixed up. I think right now, it's a beautiful picture when my son's panicked cries rip through the peaceful solitude of our evening and his daddy bounds off the couch to go rescue him (eventually to wind up on mommy's lap where he belongs ;) ). The man practically wears a Superman cape around the house and it's reflected in my children's eyes. As our son grows, the cape might wear out ... he won't need Superman (or woman) as often ... he'll try to wear the cape himself. But I pray that he'll remember his daddy - the hero of his personal story - and realize that even when he's thirty-four and alone and scared, one cry and his Heavenly Father will be there. The true Hero. The Parent we should never separate from. The One who will never stop holding us to his chest and whispering "shhhhh" as the storm rages on.