Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Safe Enough To Be Afraid


Alethia isn't the type to hide her emotions.

If she is upset you better believe you'll hear about it, along with the rest of the neighborhood!

My little Ugandan daughter has got some lungs!
(We are praying that the Lord will redirect those lungs into the form of praise as she gets older.  Every family needs a strong female vocalist:)

She is opinionated.
She is sassy.
She is encouraging.
She is territorial.

She is not afraid to use the voice God gave her.

Unless it is in the wee hours of the night.

I don't remember a single time she has ever come out of her room after we close the door for her to sleep.

Now, don't get me wrong, she has had her fair share of Alethia-your-suppsed-to-be-in-bed-why-are-you-playing-with-Rainys-lip-gloss-again reprimands, but she doesn't ever open that door.

I'm pretty sure she believes that her daddy and I are serious when we say that there will be consequences for getting out of bed (at least ONE of our kids believes us, ha!).

A gentle reprimand holds a lot of weight in her heart.  She is very sensitive and correction is devastating to her, so she stays clear of the typical nighttime excuses to get out of bed such as needing a sip of water, needing a tissue, scared of monsters, or needing to go to the bathroom.
(She just gets Rainy to tell us if she needs something:)

This all appears to be a good thing, from the outside.

But I almost wonder if she is afraid.

Afraid she will get scolded if she really needs to go to the bathroom (which I believe is one reason why she still has to wear a pull-up at night), or is in desperate need of a sip of water (she has had a nagging cough about 95% of the time we've known her).

But last night I woke up to a sweet voice calling my name.  I woke up surprised to see that it was Alethia.

Not ONCE has she ever woken me up in the middle of the night for anything.

First she starts talking about something irrelevant to anything, then quickly asks what she came in to find out...

"Is Rainy in her bed?"

Rainy had stayed out late with Josh so Alethia didn't see her ever come in to go to bed.
And Rainy is her "person".
It warms my heart, and it makes me feel confident that she fits perfectly into this family.
So when Rainy is gone Alethia doesn't quite feel complete.

As soon as I reassured her that Rainy was in fact sleeping soundly in the girls' room Alethia sounded relieved as she happily said, "Yay!", and turned to go back to bed.

Not 30 seconds later she quietly scurries back into our room and whispers into my ear, "Mommy, it is so dark in my room.  I am scared."

Alethia is terribly afraid of the dark.

She would normally just cry softly into her pillow.
Alone.
Never asking for help.
Afraid to be afraid.

But last night she felt safe.
Safe enough to come wake her sleeping mommy.
Safe enough to ask for help.
Safe enough to be afraid.

After leading her down the dark hallway back to her room, plugging in a nightlight, and stroking her soft face, I reassured her of me and daddy's love for her and thanked her for coming to tell me.

She is a strong, strong little girl.
I am proud to be her mama.
And I'm even more proud that she feels safe enough to LET me be.
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