Yesterday was my Jeffrey’s fifteenth birthday. He had friends over all day on Saturday and yesterday some more friends. His grandparents came with cards and his great aunt sent one in the mail. I made a cheesecake and we picked out a new paint color to paint his bedroom walls. We watched his baby movies and we read the story of the night he was born in his baby book. Every year we do the same things and I never grow tired of it. Every year I cry and tell him what a beautiful baby he was. Every year I look long and deep into his blue eyes and try to see how the man he is growing into still carries that soft-skinned baby inside of him. It usually isn’t very hard. Because he’ll always be my baby.
So I was reading through some of my Jeffrey stories that I’ve shared here and I found this one from a few years ago. Hope you don’t mind if I share it again. Come sit on my couch with me and we’ll look through the memory together.
It was a terribly awful Sunday and I cried on and off all afternoon and into the evening when Jeffrey asked me if I would come up early to tuck him in so we could snuggle for a while.
“You never snuggle with me anymore.”
So I put aside the hurt I felt and climbed the stairs to enter into soft boy-skin and a tangle of legs and arms. We snuggled.
“Do you want to say the prayer tonight?”
I asked it because I hoped he did, because thinking about God made me cry again, and my heart felt tender still from the fresh wounding.
“Okay,” he said. And he did. And this is how he started:
“Dear God, he said. Thank you for all the blessings and even for the bad things because we know they’re here for a reason. Thank you for today…umm…we all had a pretty good day of it. (Really?) Yeah, pretty good.”
And he went on, asking for blessings, giving thanks, praying from his heart. I was silenced by his beginning, but it gave me hope so I asked,
What do you want more than anything in the world?
He didn’t even hesitate.
I looked at his white face shine in the dark.
“Are you just saying that because you know I want you to?”
“No.” Then he reached both his hands to the ceiling as if he could reach heaven. “Because, without God, what are we?”
He silences me again with his words, but I’m still skeptical.
“Okay then, what would be second?”
No hesitation, “God.”
He giggles again.
Then he stops and see the wheels turning.
“Well,” he says. “After God there is something else.”
“What is it?”
So I gulp it in big mouthfuls and discover that I am still breathing and I look at this wonder-boy and kiss him goodnight and when I go to bed I say a prayer of my own.
Dear God, Thank you for all the bad stuff. I want you—I need you like air. Amen.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
The Playdates button: