I’m currently sitting in my son’s bedroom at 2:03 a.m. on a Saturday night. I have to be up for church in the morning, but at least I don’t have work. He woke up with a leg ache, a common problem for my kids when they have run themselves silly during the day. For him, it is often pushing a toy truck back and forth between the kitchen and living room, over and over. For my middle daughter Ellie it would be doing cartwheels over and over.
Either way though, the result is pain and a crying child in the middle of the night. After getting him some medicine for the pain, I sat rocking him and thinking. I have three children and along with my wife, we have spent many an hour awake at night with babies; truthfully, she more than I. That being said though, it has often upset me or made me cross; being awakened from sleep, drug out of bed, changing midnight diapers or soothing a crying child for any number of reasons. But as I sat here tonight, my little son, who just turned three, cuddling into my chest, I made a point to realize that I am lucky.
First of all, I have a child to wake me up. Beyond that, I have three. I have three amazing children to worry about, be awakened by, and be able to provide care for when they need me. I and my wife are good parents and we can care for three children well. I work in the school system and get to see the children of many different families, as such, I see both the good and bad results of different families. I am thankful that my children are part of an amazing one.
I have help. My wife is an amazing mother and a stupendous spouse. She sacrifices and pursues excellence in all her endeavors. However, her charge as a mother is one that she has not only mastered but continues to teach me as her fellow parent. My parents live down the road, they are always there helping and loving my kids. My mother and father-in-law are there as well, providing support and love, always. Aunts, Uncles, Godfathers, Godmothers, friends, church members, teachers, and so many more.
They say it takes a village and my kids have one. I am often discouraged by the news these days. The hate, discourse, and outright violence of humans are at times scary and bleak. But when I look at my kids, I have hope. They are and will be a bright spot in that darkness. Christ’s love will shine out from them as I hope it does from their parents. I recently joked with my good friend that all Christians should have at least three kids if at all possible.
That way you can make more Christians than are going to go on to glory when you leave this word. But truthfully, no one can predict the course of one person’s life, even a life that is brought up in the church with loving and good parents. But dang if it doesn’t help. I am thankful for my son’s leg aches and the opportunity they provide. I am thankful for a crying child at night. God thank you for letting me hold my children and be a comfort to them. May I never forget the blessing of lost sleep.
D. Michl Lowe