My heart is full tonight.
Maybe it’s because I’ve just returned from a day doing what I realise I absolutely love.
Maybe because today I realised how much I don’t like telling people what to do….but how much I Love being a safe place for them to come for information and 100% support.
Maybe because I’m reminded of how precious that hard, difficult, soul destroying, sleep deprived, draining, time of life was when my little ones were babies.

It was an unusual dynamic tonight when I got home. Both Jon and I returning from “full days” of work. Iona was left with a friend for an impromptu sleepover and so I brought a disappointed Judah home with me. We decided we’d make up for it by letting him stay up with us a bit later and fall asleep on the couch next to us.

I look over at him. He’s got his sister’s pillow pet with him so he won’t miss her too much. His gaze is far away.  Sometimes his tenderness is enough to shred my heart.
How long has it been? since I’ve held him in my arms until he fell asleep?

Today I held a little baby boy, full of wind, rocking him and winding him for his exhausted mother, remembering it so well….remembering how it felt…willing them to drift off to sleep…desperate to put them down. Yet as I held this little one, I felt privileged.

My mind drifts back to Judah, and his most recent loss.  When he was told the facts, he didn’t really respond, it didn’t sink in. But the other day when we called in to see my mother in law, he took a few steps into the front room, and then just stopped…dead in his tracks, and just stood there with such a sad look on his face, staring at Granddad’s chair, empty. We asked him what was wrong and he just gave a bit of a whimper and turned around and buried his face in the furniture. There are just no words….he’s lost his mate…one of his biggest fans….Thank God for the hours spent on puzzles, connect four, and simply being together watching Micky Mouse on the telly. Time spend just the two of them. Time I am so glad he had…and so pray will be clear in his memories for the rest of his life.

So tonight Jon and I sit in our front room, with our little lad snuggled on the couch. We’re not hurrying him off to bed…we’re not rushing through a story, we’re unashamedly spoiling him with as much fun as we can muster on a Friday night when we’re both exhausted.

Before I left the new mother today we had a chat about parenting styles……I said “you will never ever regret the time you spent cuddling…no matter how hard it was….when I look back, I am more likely to feel sad over the times I rushed things, and where I wasn’t fully present, never the times when I spent that extra time…just being with them”

Judah is breathing deeply now…fast asleep…..having drifted off after spending time with his dad….hearing stories about Hobbits, and watching images of Hobbits on Youtube along with the gorgeous soundtrack. (Jon has been telling the kids his own version of the Hobbit every night at bedtime)

I pray he remembers….

“Judah what should we get daddy for Christmas”
Judah: “I want to get him a picture of his dad”

At the moment I’m reading a lot of Ann Voskamp’s blog.….her big thing is thankfulness…..Many years ago now I was told Gratefulness was the secret to surviving a hot sticky summer sleeping on the hard floor in a remote village in India….I didn’t get it then…

The weight of Judah’s raw emotions touches me deep inside. I remember his high pitched scream as a young toddler, before he could speak. He has never been shy about expressing what he feels and now that he’s talking, he’s scarily articulate about his likes and dislikes. You always know how he’s feeling…and most of the time…he seems to be overflowing with

Joy

Judah: “thank you God for trains, thank you God for cars, Thank you God for planes, thank you God for food…..and thank you God for Granddad….Amen……and with all my heart….Amen”

4-up on 25-12-2013 at 19.42 #10
Judah’s name means praise….

I’m starting to get it.