I listen as his small, sweet voice sounds out the words to one of his favorite books, wishing I could bottle and save it for a day much later than this, when he has grown into a man and his voice is deep and strong.
“The days are long but the years are short.” This is the epitome of that truth.
I spent the night before lying at the foot of his bed listening to his painful groans from the headache preventing his body from resting. I placed my hand on his little leg that now seems so big compared to the last time I was praying intense prayers for healing. “God, please…please lay your hand on his small frame and provide complete restoration. God, please…direct my steps to know how to properly care for him. Don’t let me miss one sign that he needs medical attention. You are the Great Physician, the Ultimate Healer. I believe you will do what you say you will do, so as I stand here with empty hands, open in reverence to you, I am thanking you for what you have already done.”
Throughout my prayer distracting thoughts are invading my mind. “What if the headache is something more? What if you don’t get to a hospital in time? What if it’s meningitis like the little boy had who passed away not long ago?” and on and on it goes.This may sound dramatic and I am a bit that.
To see such a shift in behavior from this energetic, almost 7-year-old, to this lifeless, sleepy, curled up child was shocking. Why does it take something like this to make me ask myself, “Why don’t I enjoy every moment of his energy?!” Why when my child is sick, does it make me question every motive I’ve had for the last 6 years of his life. Why does it make me feel like a horrible, neglectful mother?
This night, he is a little better. The fever has now set in and he shivers as the warmth from his body attempts to warm the cool sheets of his bed. I go to kiss his forehead and he says, “Mom, will you pray?”
“Yes, Darling. I just prayed. Did I miss something?”
“Will you pray for me to feel better and that Caden won’t get sick?”
I sat down on his bed and took his hand. “God, thank you. Thank you for Riley and his faith in you. Thank you for his energy and life. Thank you that he’s mine. Please heal him. Thank you for healing him. We know you are faithful to fulfill all promises made so we proclaim your goodness and thank you for his complete healing. Please keep Caden safe from sickness and pain. Father, we know all required of us is that we ask for what you will so willingly give. Thank you. You are strong and powerful God, Creator of the Universe, and yet you pause to meet us here. Thank you. We trust you. We believe you. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.”
“I’ve never heard you pray like that before.” Ri says.
“Really?” I respond. “Is that bad or good?”
Long pause…”It’s good!…I think? I don’t know yet?” He says as he turns on his left side and pulls the covers up to his ears.
“Okay buddy. Time for sleep.”
“Okay, mom. Night. Oh, hey, mom.”
“Do you know how come I can run so fast?”
“When I wanna get somewhere, I run, and there’s no slow down or off switch. I only know how to go fast.”
“I can definitely see that, Ri. You are a great runner.” I say in response.
“Yeah, I am.” he says sleepily.
“Goodnight boys. I love you.”
“Goodnight, mama.” Air kisses fly back and forth across the dark room before I start down the stairs.
“The days are long, but the years are short.” This statement made by a brilliant mom of 3 has never rung more true to me. There will be no bottling up of sweet voices, only memories and those are only as accurate as my mind portrays them to be.
I want to savor these moments of childhood before I look around and they’re gone.
What do you think? Does your mind immediately go to the worst scenario when your child(ren) is sick? Do you pray more when you feel desperate? Why is that? What can we do, especially as mothers, to relinquish control on a daily, sometimes hourly basis?