The day was almost over: the littles asleep in their beds, floors mopped, dishes dripping dry, laundry off the line & smelling like this mountain air, homework done, lunchboxes stuffed with snacks & packed into backpacks… and on a good day it would have been the time to curl up on the couch with Meesha and watch some Criminal Minds (because oh how I love that Spencer Reid..)
But, it had been a hard day, and so instead of being on the couch I once again found myself curled up next to our Littlest Boy as he slept under his Winnie-the-Pooh blanket and I laid beside him and cried.
I don’t remember when I started sneaking into the little boys’ room after a hard day, but I know why I do it. I do it because even in his sleep Baby Boy will wrap his arms around my neck and cuddle in close, and after a hard day of receiving hateful words and aggressive touch what I really need is to just remember that I. am. loved.
Little Boy has this unrelenting love for me that took me awhile to accept and understand. I noticed it in the first weeks after he came to live with us, how it was me he would seek out to sit beside at dinner, to pray with before bed, to hold hands with the cross the street, to help him brush his baby teeth and to play with him on the floor. It made no sense to me because I never treated him any differently than I treated our other children, and honestly on the inside what I mostly felt was just crabbiness in general about being here. And so I remember the way I used to look at him every time he would reach for me and only me: with scrunched, raised eyebrows, a face full of bewilderment and pure, pure confusion. And I remember the words that used to run through my mind as I looked at his joyful face, asking for me again and again and again:
Little Boy, Little Boy… why do you love me so much..???
It took me awhile to understand, but one day there it was, the answer so clear… it was Jesus, it was God, it was Holy Spirit loving me purely, relentlessly, unconditionally, loud & clear.
I think God knew that this figurative desert on this physical mountain would take it’s toll on me, on my faith in His Goodness, my belief in Her Love… and I think God gave me this child who’s crazy love for me makes absolutely no sense, to mirror the Crazy, Pure, Relentless, Unconditional, Loud & Clear Love that She Himself lavishes on me every single day… but that I am so often unable to recognize or accept. Or that sometimes I just flat out ignore.
I think God knew I wouldn’t be able to ignore the love of this child though. I think God knew what would happen between God & Me in this valley of grief, how I would be so wretchedly angry, and then so distant cold. How when I would sense that Presence close I would back away and hold up my shaking hands like a woman betrayed by her lover to say “don’t you dare touch me.” But I believe I was sent this Little Boy so that God could love me through the grief anyway, even though I didn’t want to let Him.