Benjamin was just miserable yesterday. I took him in and turns out he has a double ear infection on top of the cough and cold. He's been pretty needy all week, but yesterday in particular he wouldn't let me put him down. And in a way, it was kind of nice. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty awful when the kids get sick, but whenever they are it is almost inevitable that I will have some sweet, quiet moment with them that I would not have had otherwise.
When Bethany was in the worst of it last week, she came into our room around 1:00am unable to sleep and insisting through whimpers that a bath would make her sore throat feel better. Half asleep, I tried my best to talk her out of it, but, as often comes of attempts to reason with a 4-year-old, I gave up. We ended up sitting together in the bathtub in the middle of the night, whispering and laughing while everyone else was asleep, until she felt well enough to crawl back up into her bed. It was one of those moments when you can feel your mind taking a picture and filing it away, to be pulled out on the day you hand over the car keys or watch her walk down the aisle. I'm not sure if she will remember that night, but I will never forget.
Yesterday Benjamin wasn't interested in his books or his toys or even movies. He didn't want to play and he didn't want to eat. The only thing he wanted was me. He would say “upease” and I would pick him up, and then he would say “wock”. So we would go over to the rocking chair and I would lay him against my chest as he wrapped his little arms around me as far as they could go. And there I would sit with him, feeling his chest rise and fall, stroking his hair and his face, both of us perfectly content to stay just as we were forever and ever.
In the midst of their suffering, I cherish those sweet times. And in the midst of their suffering, they are learning. They are learning that I am there, and that I will care for them. They are learning to come to me when they are hurting or when they are scared. And, through these beautiful little moments that spring up like flowers from the cracks in my stoneish heart, I am learning a little something too. A little something more about my Father and His unshakable love for me, and why, perhaps, He allows for difficulty in our lives. That we would come to Him with outstretched arms, that we would rest our head upon His chest, and that we would find ourselves wanting nothing else but Him.