4am is a time of day I am seeing quite often. With a baby who rarely sleeps more than two or three hours in a row, I often find myself squinting at the clock through bleary-eyes to register the time and figure out what my next move is (let him cry a little, get a bottle, breastfeed, rock him, medicine, etc).
4am is also a very bad time of day to have to converse with another adult.
I am really starting to hate 4am.
James and I try to alternate nights getting up with Caleb, so that we can each have some semblance of sanity during the days. We seem to engage on a never-ending battle of who is more tired, whose day is more taxing, who needs the rest more, who can best (and most quickly) get Caleb back to sleep. Generally we go it alone on these nights, but once or twice a week after listening to the other person get out of bed every hour, and hearing Caleb's cries mount to long bouts of screaming, we drag ourselves out to intercede in rescue operations.
At 4am, all those little things that irk you about another person become huge giants. And all your "best" characteristics come roaring out also. The comments are snide, the digs are deep, and there arguments are senseless. The battle to rack up points for your side is not only redundant, but can descend into downright meanness. Apparently, the censor in your brain does not wake up at 4am with you, and words come tumbling out, pushed to the edge by raw emotion.
I hate 4am. Terri-Ann at 4am is not who I want to be. It is not a person I want anyone to meet, let alone my patient and enduring husband. He is the one I love most in the entire world, and too often becomes the brunt of all my negative energy storing up inside.
I want to end these 4am meetings with him. I'd love to spend every moment of every day with him, but really, a 4am rendezvous is not all that necessary. Perhaps we should kill the idea of rescue operations - it might actually be more healthy just to leave the other one to his or her own devices .
But then I realize that that isn't really what I want. What I really want is to overcome those 4am moments, not avoid them. I am not becoming a better me by evading the hard times. I want to reach down deep inside of me and be grateful when my husband pulls himself from the warmth of our bed to come to my aid. I want to remember that he is not commenting on my mothering skills after 6 hours of my inability to soothe my baby. I want to come to his side willingly when he is exhausted from work and church and family responsibilities and send him back to bed without spite. I want to be worked on by God's love so that I can reflect that love in my life, not just while the sun shines, but at 4am also.
I am not perfect. I am not perfect. I am not perfect. I cannot be perfect. Others are not and cannot be perfect. Stop expecting perfection!
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)