It’s not often that I get to hold my little guy in my arms anymore. Unless, of course, he’s hurling. Or maybe drooling on my shoulder from his car nap. Or reading, of course.
I miss holding him. Paul puts him to bed most nights. And he likes routine. So we don’t mess with a good thing. I spend time with Selah, he spends time with Adden. And they both fall asleep chasing fireflies and pretty pink princessy ponies.
Tonight had a different look though. Paul had youth group and was going to be home late. So I got to do the Mommy deal with both. Showers, books, prayer, and songs. I carry a lot of goodies in my arsenal of bedtime routines, mostly because I don’t wield an Ipod. And, well, because I’m not Paul. Adden LOVES his Dad.
Adden requests two songs when I put him to bed. Hurry, Hurry, Drive that Firetruck and Amazing Grace. It’s been a while since I’ve sang these to him. Always when he was a baby, but maybe months since. He tilts his head back, curls those legs up, and wraps his arms in mine. I sing the songs and he listens. This is how it goes. I adore these times.
So I get to Amazing Grace and out of nowhere comes this little voice. Every word, matching mine. Every note, just the same. Every verse. I didn’t know he knew the words. He’s always in Zimbabwe right before bed. It struck me that he had been paying attention all along.
There’s something to be said for surprising signs of life, unexpected places of growth. Like the bulb buried under the frozen ground, shooting signs of life up in the spring. Like the trees barren in winter robbed of everything glorious, but very much alive in those roots and branches. Like the Little Man, who had been listening all this time. Hearing, absorbing, reflecting. Then singing.
I have to continue to remind myself – in seasons like this one – that what I see isn’t all there is. It’s more than laundry, dishes, and dinner. It’s more than the kids fighting over a toy that neither of them care about. It’s more than not having time for a shower myself.
We’ve got bulbs in the ground here. Bulbs with runny noses, spilling paint on the floor, who just want to dance and play and be known and loved. This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life – this Mommy one. It’s self-less and tiring and not always fun. I am that hard ground. And those bulbs, well – they unearth a lot of junk in me – but they also can make me beautiful.
In time. With hard work. Coupled with patience that can’t be my own. And of course, singing. There’s always a song to be sung. Sometimes, on a good night, they’ll even sing along.