As a parent it can be so frustrating just to get a child to sleep. You’ve worked all day, had some time with the kids, battled your way through bath-and-bedtime. Now you’d just like a few moments of silence to unwind, maybe some adult conversation with your wife or husband. But…

Your precious little one just…Will. Not. Go. To. Sleep.

You bounce, you rock, you pat them on the back. You tell stories and sing songs. You’re exhausted and you realize this is taking an hour. You’re not going to get to watch that movie, read that book, finish that project. Relaxing for part of the evening is definitely out.

This is the fifth night in a row your little one has refused to go to bed. You’re exhausted, bored, frustrated. This is the life of a parent of small children. There have been seasons where this has been every night with my daughter.

Finally, she starts to calm down. She settles into my arms. I keep rocking, afraid to breathe too loudly. Her eyes stop darting to and fro and rest on mine. I wonder what this little person could possibly be thinking. I remember how beautiful she is and pray for her as we continue to gaze at one another. I still don’t know her thoughts but somewhere deep inside I feel that she loves me.

“I love you, baby girl,” I whisper as softly as humanly possible.

Her tiny hand slowly loosens its grip around my thumb as she finally succumbs to slumber. I keep rocking her for a few minutes, because now I don’t care about doing the dishes or writing a blog post.

I just know that in this frustrating, exhausting, mundane moment, there’s also a measure of love that is worth it all.