Jeremy wasn’t home the other night. Bedtime was all mine. Dread. Sigh. Let’s get this over with. I’ve been with these kids ALL DAY.
Clean up, wash faces, brush teeth, pee, put pj’s on. Get in bed. Devotions…Check, Check, Check.
No, you can’t listen to a CD tonight. No, you can’t have 5 minutes with lights on. No, No, No. It’s late. I’m tired. Go to sleep!
But something drew me back….
Maybe it was last year’s Jake pajamas Jonathan squeezed into. Maybe it was the way Stephen prayed for our Compassion kid. Maybe it was the way Caleb arranged the animals on his bed.
Yes, I will lay with you tonight.
Jonathan on the bottom bunk. Sweet blonde hair. I push it off his forehead as he wiggles around. He grabs my hand and lays it on his cheek. I feel him breathe. In the darkness I see his eyelids flutter. He pulls his blanket close, and I watch him doze off. Safe. Secure. Asleep.
Then a little voice from the top bunk. Caleb. Will you lay with me too? I climb up there. He slides over to give me space on the pillow. Soon his five year old arm slips around my shoulders. Tight. I kiss his temple and thank God for him. The little boy after the miscarriage. The one I ached for. I whisper to him a reminder of how special he is. Then I climb down.
Mommy, can you lay with me? It’s Stephen in the single bed. Yes. When did my firstborn get so big? I snuggle beside him. His hair is wet. Part sweat. Part face-washing. I remember how close we came. The memories come back every time I hold him close. Oh God, thank you for grace. Thank you for life. I kiss his cheek, tell him I love him, and leave the room.
Nothing could trump those moments with the boys. The basket of clothes can wait. The approval of facebook can wait. The late night snack can wait.
I don’t want to miss a moment. I don’t want to wish them away. Yes, I’m tired. But has my fatigue made me forget that children are a blessing?
So I make a choice. A choice to slow down long enough to see the blessing. To see God’s beautiful grace to me.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)