Word Storm

I come upon him, and he doesn’t stir.

It’s five minutes to bedtime…five minutes to the tucking in.

His bare shoulder shines in lamplight; his small body an island in the middle of the bed.

I hover.

He still doesn’t look up.

This child–

the one who used to interrupt nightly readings for impromptu puppet shows; the one who rolls maniacally on the floor while brother and I snuggle close under covers during nightly Bible readings–

This child is lost in a book.

I kneel beside him and rub his back…let fingertips gently tickle flesh. I watch as the story glides across his face… word storm.

“Are you ready to pray?”

I ask most reluctantly…loathe to interrupt this magic.

“Just one second,” He flips the page. “I just. Want. To finish. This chapter.”

I sit silently beside. Wait.

When finally he closes the book he must tell me about what he has read. This small voice rises and falls, caught up in the retelling.

This is a good story.

I sigh my happiness as out goes the lamp. Lay this body down, wiggle into him. He presses self up against me, takes his hand and places it on my cheek. He did not wash his hair tonight and it smells like skin…warm and alive.

The sacred words are shared, and he asks the inevitable.

“Will you stay with me a little while?”

I cannot move from this place of life’s sweetness, so I do…stay. Even after his breathing turns slow and even, I stay.

Awake in the dark, moonlight falling through window, holding this child in my arms…I am stilled. Gratitude overwhelms and I wonder yet another time at the bottomless well of God’s generosity.

I take one last sniff of him before I get up, check on brother in the next room, and head downstairs.

I am thinking about the story we are writing.

Each day a page, each season a chapter.

I’m just trying to reach the end of this one.

I remember my son’s face as eyes devoured words.

When last did I relish this story in that way? I realized this morning that my dawn prayer was laced with dread–Oh, Lord, help me get through…

No eager turning of pages, no animated retelling of these days.

And why? Why, when there is beauty everywhere?

Because I look, but I don’t see. Each passing minute is merely a bridge to the next one.

On the way down the stairs my prayer changes. On the way down the stairs, I step into this story. On the way down the stairs I join with my life.

To look and really see. To be here in this moment. To relish each page before it is turned.

This is my prayer for the story of life.

This is a good story. Maybe even warrants retelling.

But we won’t worry about that for now. We’re too into the words on this page.

One page at a time.

For more on joining, read our latest book club post over here.

Comments

  1. says

    So good to visit your page again. This post reminds me of the wonderful bedtime moments I used to have with my children. You are wise to capture them. Beautiful, Laura! As always, beautiful words from a beautiful woman! My love to you, friend! Cheri

  2. says

    i like.

    “Because I look, but I don’t see.” I am so guilty of this. Turning the page and letting it go. To relish each page and not wish for the next to be turned. Guilty. I flip about two chapters ahead knowing I’m still on this one today, and need to focus on this one, today!

    Thanks, Laura.

    Be sure to stop by and read this last post on Becoming More. I’ll be posting the next chapter tomorrow.
    Love,
    Paula

  3. says

    Oh Laura, that we could live like that always. I wonder how much I have missed by not cherishing the moments, not turning the pages slowly and savoring each day.
    Thank you for this gentle, beautiful reminder.

  4. says

    Laura , this was so poignant.
    And I just wanted to tell you that I spent quite some time reading through some of your archived posts the other day. Your maturity and positive attitude is inspirational to say the least.
    And yet still, the sadness and longing comes through, is still there.
    I know it keeps me ever aware. Extra sensitive to what my words and actions are now. And then sometimes that feels like a burden.
    I often wonder if other people are just so much more carefree, simply wholly happy. But then I push forth living in gratitude for the overwhelming abundance of my life.
    Anyway, thank you for being “there”.

    love,
    deb

  5. says

    There you go, paying attention to life again.

    Somedays, I think it would be nice to be a child again and have you as my mother! Don’t get me wrong… I love my momma, but you make it all sound so wonderful and magical…

    like the wild things.

    peace~elaine

  6. says

    a beautiful post… wishing I was here today, wishing away the minutes and hours and days it takes for my heart to change sometimes when God is pressing in with goodness I am hesitant to accept… Thank you for sharing.

  7. says

    Sometimes we were too rushed and tired at the kids’ bedtime to cherish the moments. Now I long for them again sometimes! The times we did linger, pray, read, lie beside them, answer questions, tell stories, make up stories, live on in precious memory.

    I esp liked these words: “To be here in this moment.” Your words were so poetic. Mind if I use them for a radio program?

    wb

  8. says

    My little wiggle-wort has morphed along the same lines too. And my favorite part of the night is the warm boy-skin next to mine heavy in sleep after prayers…

    God indeed uses you graciously as a writer.

    Blessings.

  9. says

    such a beautifully written inspiration to be mindful of these days with our little and not so little ones : ) i enjoyed reading your writing about this precious time with your son.

  10. says

    you will enjoy the reading of these stories in later years as will your boys – when another woman enfolds him in her arms and answers yes to to his “Will you stay with me a little while?” – she will write herself into his story and you will cry mixed tears of saddness for losing the young boy to another and of joy for gaining a man from another -On the way down the stairs your prayer will often change. On the way down the stairs, you will step into this story, holding hands with another. On the way down the stairs, as she joins him as his wife. On the way down the stairs, she will step in to join with your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *