I heard him from the kitchen; me answering yet another email.
“Mom, can you come lay down with me?”
“Sure, pal!” I clicked the x, closed the glowing page, silenced the siren.
My four year old was lying on our big chair-and-a-half, cheeks red with a fever. I scootched him over and grabbed a blanket to toss over us, and he melted into my side, glad to have all of me for a bit. The brothers and sisters ran around the backyard, calling loudly to one another, wrapped up in another adventure game of their own creation.
Inside, it was quiet. Me, glad for an excuse to be still; he, glad I’d said yes. The Christmas tree lights glowed and candle flames flickered; carols playing low in the background. I actually sat there and enjoyed it for a little while, without any agenda but loving on my little sick one.
If I want to hold my children’s hearts, I have to learn to say yes to them and no to other things more often. In our busy lives it’s a given that saying “yes” to a child never stands alone; always the laundry, the book, the phone call has to be told “no.” They’re only young for a short season. It’s such a brief window, and the enemy wants us to miss it, rushed here and there by all the things that usually cry out louder and more insistently than our little ones.
Being asked for our time is a gift.
We communicate love to our children when we take time to stroke a forehead and spend awhile cuddling on the couch. Even if there are a million other things we could be doing. Especially when there are a million other things we could be doing.
He didn’t want anything in particular; didn’t want me to do or say anything, just to be there with him. Eventually the outside adventure ended, everyone burst into our quiet, and I had to get up and make lunch lest we all starve. But for half an hour today, it was just about us.
And that’s just fine with me!