I was listening to the loud sound of the garage door close beneath the bedrooms this morning and I could not help but think back to the days when we had first moved in. My oldest son was about four years old. I was pregnant with my fourth child, which meant four children, four years and under, and three of them still in diapers. The move had caused some insecurity in the children, and they wanted to make sure their daddy would return to the same house (our new house!) when he was finished working for the day. I am not really sure what went through my son's head that first morning, but to this day I can still hear his loud, I-am-dying cry ring in my head and it makes me shudder! I raced out of the room to see what was wrong and he was sitting on the couch in the living room sobbing as he looked out the window.
"What happened?" I asked him, looking for blood or something that would cause such a ruckus so early in the morning.
"He did not kiss me goodbye! And he did not wave to me!!!" Big tears dripped all over the pillows leaving little puddles.
It took some reassuring, plus a phone call to daddy to get him to settle down and then he was fine for the day. And so began a trend that caused my heart great stress every morning. And it was all the garage door's fault...that thing was (is) so loud that it echoed through the bedrooms rousing even the deepest of sleepers. Joe did not want to wake the children to say goodbye because that meant an earlier morning for me, and he knew I needed my sleep. My children were good sleepers (after they passed the one year mark) and since I am not a morning person, I appreciated every extra minute they gave me to sleep a little longer. Some nights were rough with the newborns, well, actually, many nights were rough with the newborns, so sleep was a precious commodity in our home. Maybe you can sense my apprehension about the loud hum of the garage door, but as soon as it began, I would hear the thud of little feet hitting the floor, heavy footsteps racing down the hallway, and the panicked voice of a four year old calling, "Daddy! Don't go! I need to wave to you!"
The front door would fling open and slam against the wall, and then the storm door would bang shut as he raced outside. Sometimes he caught him and other times he did not. If he did not get a wave back, then the tears flowed abundantly and my heart ached with the sounds of his cries. It became so bad that I had to ask Joe to slip out the front door, quietly closing it behind him so he would not wake the children. And it worked! As long as Joe remembered to go out the front door, which I reminded him every morning when he kissed me goodbye, everything was fine. (I find it ironic that now it takes almost every ounce of strength to drag JJ out of bed - forget the garage door or waving to Daddy now!)
I am not sure why I remembered that particular memory this morning, but the topic of little ones has been a subject extra close to my heart this week. I love my children dearly, and love (almost) every new adventure we go on through life, yet I miss those babyish years, when they were constantly saying funny things to make me laugh, or giving me their toothless little grins. The family with the four children from church whom I used to watch quite often, moved away and I miss their happy faces. Joe's sister is moving away with her two little ones and though I do not see them very often already, I will miss their cute faces and little giggles as they play with their cousins.
I guess I just miss little ones. I know I got irritated and angry many times, but the struggles of those days are like distant memories now. I thought the days of little children crying and arguing would never end, and that I would never ever be able to sleep through a night again, but here I am getting full nights of sleep, though I would not say the days of arguing are over. Children are children no matter how old and constantly need lots of prayer.
But seeing what one of the families in our church is going through right now puts the entire matter into perspective. Hearts are extremely heavy as we share their burden that their precious baby girl might see Jesus's face sooner than later. I cannot imagine having to endure that kind of heartache. I lost a baby due to miscarriage after my second child, but I was only six weeks along and never did get to see, hold, or kiss the face of that little one. Baby Katelyn is almost a year and cannot walk, nor even move her little muscles due to the nasty disease of muscular atrophy. Yet, she smiles and always looks so happy in her pictures. We are praying for a miracle for this little one, and would love to have you join in our prayers. Take the time to love those around you. Do not let little minor issues take your joy away from enjoying those special moments with your children. Kiss their faces. Laugh with them. Snuggle with them. Keep them close to your heart. You do not know the plan God has for you or for those children that He has given to you on loan. Do your best with them. Teach them the ways of the Lord. Write down everything they say and do or else you will forget. And give more hugs and kisses. Never let a garage door stand in your way. Just give those kisses whether they are sleeping or awake. Because one day, it will all be a distant memory, for this stage shall pass all to quickly.