{I had a moment recently where I felt this familiar ache, and then I found this. From last year. And I laughed because–glory!–he can tie his own shoes now! It’s so good to remember, as we commit ALL of our questions and futures to the only One who knows. He is trustworthy. Thanks for reading.}

“Mommy?” You whisper into the darkness. “Can I have a rock?”

It’s the middle of the night and it takes me a moment to realize what you mean.

I smile. “Of course.”

I pull back the covers, slide out of bed, creep across the room in the dark. Out in the hallway, I don’t see you, but I peek into Heidi’s room and there you are, arms full of snuggly animals, standing beside the rocking chair, waiting for me. 


I slide back into the cool, hard, chair. It creaks loudly as I pull you onto my lap and ease back. You barely fit now, tall and lanky and almost 9-years-old. Your long legs hang off the side, your head rests up on my shoulder. I try to wrap an arm under you but can’t reach, so I just bear-hug you around the middle and lean down so my cheek rests against yours, so I can breathe your breath.

I close my eyes and can’t believe I’m rocking you. You! Almost exactly 8 years earlier, you weren’t even one, and oh! you wouldn’t sleep. I tried every trick. You wouldn’t sleep. And so I tried to rock you. Desperately I tried to rock you. I held you tight, leaning back and forth in that chair, praying you’d sleep. And you fought it. Screamed. Cried and cried and cried and cried for nearly an hour until we were both drenched with sweat and tears and … I gave up. And you just stared at me, and I felt so lost and whispered to God, “Help us.”

So many times, that prayer, through these years.

And tonight I’d whispered that same prayer to the Father. Just seconds before you slipped into my room, I’d been lying awake, unable to sleep, praying, thinking of you.  Tears, too, had slipped down my cheeks as I consider 9-years-old and all that’s changing and unknown and silly things like Will you ever be able to tie your shoes or light a match?

Will you make friends? Get married? Be a good father? Thrive?

What will you say, someday, when you look back on your childhood?

Will you love the Lord when you are 20, 50, 80?

We keep rocking. The chair is loud and creaky and you’re whispering to me how you like the sound, “It’s like a radio.” And we keep rocking, and I think how I would never have dreamed back then, when you were screaming at 11-months-old, that you’d be this walking documentary boy, an absolute wonderment. And I silently thank God again and again for this moment, that you want me to rock you, and how precious this is and into the darkness you whisper:


“Yes, love?”

“Your titanium scissors surely aren’t make of titanium. They are just steel. Titanium is used more in name than actual substance. People just like to think things are made of titanium.”

I smile. I love you, son. 

Eventually we tiptoe past sleeping sister and back to your room.

“Will you snuggle me?” 

“Of course.” I slide in next to you and pull the down comforter up, around us, under our chins.

“I can’t believe they use tiger and lion bones in Chinese medicine.”

I smile and touch your cheek.

And in a few seconds, you’re asleep. I watch you for a bit, and commit all my questions to the Only One who holds us in the palm of His hand.

Your Father and mine. 

I love you, son. 

{For hearts that ache for kids, for prayers and sleepless nights. We serve a God who knows and hears and answers. Thanks for reading.}

  • Just getting to this post in my feed today, and how I needed it. We had our first baby, a son, on December 1st after trying for years. He’s been colicky since 2 weeks and it’s been so difficult to get him to sleep. The only time he’s not crying or screaming is when he’s nursing, or on the rare occasion he’s sleeping soundly. This post is a ray of hope for the future.

    • Kari Patterson

      Oh my! Well congratulations on your precious boy, and I’m so sorry it’s been so rough. Praying right now you can identify the cause of his colick and hopefully get some sleep!

      • Just saw your reply and I’m happy to say he is three months now and he started doing so much better a few weeks ago once we began giving him probiotics! He’s still a pretty fussy baby, but is no where near like he was at first!

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