I thought I’d missed it. Figured the last time to rock him to sleep had come and gone… no pomp… no circumstance… and I hadn’t even realized it. But tonight I got a bonus.
We heard the whimpers in the hall and couldn’t quite identify who was upset, but soon Jaden shuffled through the kitchen in his stocking feet, just a touch panicked. He saw me and I asked what was wrong, but he couldn’t tell me. He just wrapped his not-so-little-anymore, seven year-old arms around my neck and climbed up in my lap. We couldn’t get an intelligible word out of him and finally decided he was having a bad dream and sleep walking (which he does from time to time). We said a prayer, he got a hug from his daddy and came back to me. He curled up, clung on and slowly calmed as I sang.
When he was a baby, he would wake in the night nearly unconsolable. He would cry and cry, scream and wail. Once I got him settled, the only thing to do was to rock and sing, rock and sing. Finally I started keeping a song book by the rocking chair so I would have songs to sing at 4:00AM when my brain was fully disengaged. I would sing and praise at full volume and most of the time, I loved it. Holding a tiny baby we’d prayed for, longed for, suffered for and with… praising the God who had given him to us when all the world was still and dark… it all became a treasured routine, and now a cherished memory.
So here I am seven years later, sitting in a different chair, in a different house, in a different state, mulling over those cherished memories and the tears are welling in my eyes because I got one more chance with my little man… my not-a-baby. He’s grown into more than I dreamed of back then. Kind and loving. Respectful, courteous, thoughtful. He genuinely loves God and mankind. Sometimes “servant heart” gets thrown around flippantly, but it really and truly applies to this old soul in a young boy’s body. He remembers everything and asks after people long after I’ve forgotten there was ever anything wrong. And he’s smart to boot. He is so mature that I often forget he isn’t any older than he is. But he’s still my baby. He’s still my little man. And he still clings to his momma. :o)