Life with kids brings both challenge and joy. As a parent, there are times you can completely relate with someone else’s challenge and other times, not so much. However, I don’t think I’ve ever not been able to relate or “feel” another parent’s joy.

In the last 2 weeks we’ve had a small shift from challenge to joy. Let me explain…

With our first son (D – formerly known as Bubbs), Hubbs and I felt we were on a major learning curve the entire first 2 years of his life. It was a complete shock to our adult systems, learning how to navigate our days with him through the “fog” of our tired brains and bodies from the countless sleepless nights.

When L (formerly known as Wee Bubbs) came along, the adjustment to a new baby was so minimal that it was pleasant! Gone were the attempts at trying to keep the house clean, do all the cooking, keep everyone happy…we both knew the demands of a baby and the second time around we welcomed it with open arms.

But then, L also didn’t sleep well the first year. And while D was a happy little guy who was simply always ALWAYS awake, L was a screamer / crier / cranky little dude who also was awake – a lot.

Challenge.

The 1st birthday arrived and the screams seemed to escalate along with the tear-filled days. My mind began to swirl with thoughts like, “HOW in the WORLD can we possibly get through the next YEAR with bad sleep AND a kid who SCREAMS all the time??”

But then something happened…

L woke up and would not stop crying, no matter what I did, what I tried to feed him, what I said to him. Even though I had 8 moms and their kids coming to my home in less than 2 hours, I threw the boys in the car, called the pediatrician and was able to get an appointment within 10 minutes (just another reason to love small town living!).

During the visit, L showed off his screams and antics in true fashion. Thankfully the doctor found absolutely nothing wrong with him…which left me both relieved and frustrated at the same time!! Honestly, I was hoping to be sent home with a prescription for some infection that I was missing, he was just so upset!

Within an hour L was ready for a nap – thankfully to which he promptly fell to sleep.

3 HOURS. He slept for 3 HOURS!!!

And ever since that morning….he has been HAPPY.

Joy.

I honestly have no idea why or what changed.

We went from “challenge” to “joy” in 3 hours. Oh sure, there’s still screams, a few tears, unhappy moments. But they are short-lived in comparison to the last 12 months and those moments are quickly replaced with his beautiful, beaming smile.

The past 2 weeks have brought us much happier days, calmer days. Days filled with joy and laughter. And we’re ALL getting better sleep; hopefully a pattern that will stick for awhile!

Don’t get me wrong; I love my boys – tremendously. I don’t want to sound as though I’m complaining – we have so much to be thankful for. And no doubt there have been treasures I have gained along the road of sleepless nights and scream-filled days, treasures that I don’t think could have come to me any other way.

Just know that I am happy to see both my boys happy. There will always be challenges along the way. But I need to soak in the goodness of the times of joy.

And that time, for our little family, is right now.

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