I learned something really profound last night, in the middle of the night.
In the early hours of the morning, my youngest started to scream. Not crying: screaming. Like the Best Spouse in the World that he is, my husband got up to try and comfort her. This was difficult since Thing 1 and Thing 2 had each moved to the couches in the family room during the night, and he didn't want to wake them up. So he shut himself in the nursery.
I awoke and was alarmed by the intensity of Wee One's crying and went to see if I could help somehow, and found her pitching an absolute fit. She was writhing in Dave's arms and pushing against him. I could tell that he had used all of his resources, with no result.
Eventually, I found myself in a dim room, by myself, with a screaming child. I employed different tactics to try and soothe, but they seemed to bring only momentary relief or intensified crying. And in my daughter's eyes, I could see anger--WHY wasn't I making the hurt go away? WHY didn't I make it stop?
And suddenly, I could see something from the eyes of a Heavenly parent... the way my Heavenly Father must feel so often. I knew that I was doing all in my power to comfort her, and that there was nothing else I could do but let her little body work it out. But I could love her through it, and make sure that she knew I was there. Even though I suddenly became the object of her anger and confusion, I knew enough not to take it personally, and to comfort her as best as I could.
Eventually, we found just the right thing (a tight swaddle and a slow "cha cha cha" motion) that soothed her to sleep. She slowly relaxed and her eyes fluttered shut, as she took deep, hiccuping breaths. I didn't lay her down, right away, but let myself enjoy the silence and the peace of comfort that has been desperately sought and finally found. And I found myself uttering a silent little prayer... "Thank you, Heavenly Father, for comforting her. And for comforting me, when I need it. I don't think I ever really understood before, but I think I do now... at least a little bit."
So today, I am truly grateful.