The alarm clock says “Go!” and I’m running and rushing. And my big girl, my tween, still needs help with her every part of her day.
The “fight” is part of the routine. I clap loud and sing (annoyingly) “It’s Time to Rise and Shine… and give God the glory-glory.” Then we engage in a tug-of-war with her blanket, and she wins. Later I help her in the washroom, I help her clean and brush her teeth and get dressed. For us, it is work. And all of it involves some fight.
There will be countless moments this like in a day, month, year, even lifetime. This morning I remember it’s something that just we share, this taking care, this striving and fighting just to do the day.
We’ve shared it since the beginning.
I can still see her, newly born, spiky black hair and big grey eyes. I’d laid her in my hospital bed after everyone had gone home. Her father was away fighting in the war. “It’s you and me, girl. Just you and me.”
She’s eleven now and wants to do more, but her body doesn’t always work the way it should. So the glass shatters and the apple juice spills on the table, her plate of wild rice-ketchup-and mayo concoction goes flying across the room. On hands and knees I clean. She efficiently wipes ketchup on the one pair of acceptable pants and in her clean hair.
She leans on me with every step, we body-walk into the world.
Sometimes it seems she needs help with so many, many things.
Sometimes I feel helpless to help her.
But I trust that she is helped.
Tonight I plop down on the couch next to her. Quietly, unexpectedly she gets my glasses and pushes them, upside down, onto my face. My shirt is somehow hiked up over my belly – I mean, my six-pack abs – and I’m too tired to care. She reaches out and gently pulls down my shirt. She does it with the sense of order that she does most everything.
But her tenderness goes into my heart. Without a sound she communicates, I got you, Mommy.
Joy invigorates, and I laugh. That I would be so perfectly cared for by the one I care for.
It’s one of those rare, precious moments that a word is not just in her heart and head, but in her mouth, spontaneous and clear. I already know the answer.
“Rhema, do you love me?”
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped. ~Psalm 28:7