One of my most fond memories of a family vacation is from our first trip to Hawaii with Emma Jo. She was just under 2 years old. The whole family went to Maui and rented a condo on the beach. We had a great time shopping, eating, swimming and exploring the island. Each of those act ivies were great, but my favorite part of the vacation was my early morning wake up call from Emma Jo.
Early each morning, Emma and I would be among the first people up. (I imagine that Grampa was already up, but I don't really remember. I think he was because I remember that coffee was ready.) Anyway, Emma and I would grab her blanket and walk out onto the lanai. We would sit in a rocking chair, cover up in the blanket, and watch the waves crash on the shore. I remember sitting there in peaceful quiet, watching the waves, listening to the water and the birds, and feeling the warmth of Emma on my lap. She would just snuggle in and let me absorb the wonder of God's amazing creation and his great gift of my beautiful daughter.
I've remembered those moments and that feeling for the past 10 years.
On our recent camping trip, I was blessed with another similar experience.
Henry is not a very good sleeper (similar to Emma Jo). He wakes 2 or 3 times on a good night and is up for hours at a time on a bad night. In anticipation of a lack of sleep on our camping trip, Jason bought a camp rocking chair. After we set up the tent we realized that although our tent is huge, it just wasn't big enough to have the rocking chair inside the tent. Thankfully I brought a down comforter that Henry is used to being covered with while rocking.
The first night of our camping trip, Henry woke up around midnight. I wasn't able to nurse him back to sleep in the bed, so I grabbed him and the blue comforter. I wrapped the comforter around both of us and crawled out of the tent to the rocking chair. It was set up right outside the tent under some massive redwood trees. The campground was fairly quiet and dark except for the huge stars that could be seen between the trees. I sat in the rocking chair, nursed Henry and wondered at the beautiful night. The sounds were different from Hawaii but the feeling was much the same. It was a feeling of serenity, wonder, amazement and peace. How blessed was I to get to enjoy this wonderful creation and this miraculous child?
Our second night camping while I would have loved it if Henry had slept through the night, when he did wake up I didn't dread rocking him back to sleep. Instead I was happy to have a 2nd time to rock and reflect on the wonder of it all.