For several nights Rhema brought the remote control to me and pressed my fingers to the buttons. It was her way of telling me that she wanted the TV on, but I was baffled because she usually has no interest in television. I turned it on, but Hope and I could not at all figure out what she wanted to watch. I’d select a channel and she’d hand me the remote control again, unsatisfied. On the 3rd night, I put on some old nursery rhyme videos she used to enjoy when she was younger. When our favorite “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” came on, she rocked and giggled and jumped into my arms… my ten year old a five year old again. It blessed me down deep that she remembered, that she too treasures our days dancing and spinning around the living room…
(Originally published in August 2011 and not a lot has changed. Thank God.)
Rhema’s lost her clothes again and streaks through the kitchen. Hope’s doubled over in laughter.
“Rhema!” we exclaim as if she’s never done this before.
“Girl, go get your underpants! Go get your underpants on!”
She prances out, and then moments later approaches me with her underpants in hand. She just needs my help putting them on. She understands. She’s following a direction. And I tell you, my heart could burst.
There’s a Mount Everest mountain of clothes threatening to spill out my laundry room. There’s juice on the floor and green pieces of Hope’s slime project stuck in Rhema’s curls and belly. There’s poop on the Bible. Yes, there’s poop on the Bible. And the iTouch. And somewhere else – we just haven’t found it yet.
There’s another week looming of being busy for the sake of being busy: time filled with work deadlines and meetings and EEG results and Mommy-guilt and grown-up decisions and regrets I cannot escape.
But it’s a day to rest, rest in our Jesus. It’s me and my girls, and all we have is this.
They are loud and silly-sleepy, but we put on nursery rhyme videos.
They get absolutely crazy over cool monkeys in shades in “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” And the way we dance and spin. First Hope in my arms, we jump up and down. And then I dip her head low when a monkey falls off the bed. I wag my finger in her face, and we yell “No more monkeys jumping in the bed!” I deposit Hope on the couch when it’s two monkeys down and just enough time to catch Rhema’s flying leap into my arms. She knows it’s her turn. She’s heavy and I’m out of breath and my old back is aching, but who knows? Who knows how much longer I’ll be able to carry my firstborn like this? To swing her in my arms, dizzy with joy?
I’ll hold on for as long as I can.
And then I’ll open my hands again and give her, her sister, this family, these days to the only God who is Love. The only One who loves them and holds them far better than me. He’s got this whole wide world in His hands.
My girls danced and held hands and played Ring Around the Rosie tonight. Yes, they did. And the world is alright with me. I’ll count this day as lovely.