I know this storyline like the back of my hand.
There’s a common thread, a tie that binds us all together. Another morning and it may have been different. But God chose this morning, the early loud beginning, the time when I’d be most likely to hear. My hope, my dream, was to get up and write, to think and to meditate, to look upon the kitchen sink with fresh eyes, to breathe and to eat and enjoy a quiet cup of tea while the rest of the world was sleeping.
A little one follows me into the kitchen.
Even earlier, still resting beside my husband in the light of the dawn, I’d been contemplating the virtue of kindness, the universal need of a weary world. I was fourteen and fifteen and sixteen years old, when learning about the responsibility to cover my body and the importance of growing up to meet my future husband’s sexual needs.
“Me told, Mom. Me told.”
He’s cold. The little one is cold and I have just sat down to pull up my drafts. This is where I’ve felt the most blindsided, the most unprepared in the world of adulthood. People have needs, so many needs, and the grand majority of needs require a tender heart of kindness, the loving presence of another person to meet them. I know because I am human. I have needs too.
“Me eat, Mom. Me eat.”
He’s hungry. The little one is hungry and we just finished warming his tiny body now covered with clean clothes. What about all these other bodies in life that would need to be covered, whether or not my body got washed or clothed or fed that day? Is real life the only way to ever really learn these lessons? What are teenage boys learning these days about meeting a grown woman’s needs?
I’m supposed to be writing about kindness.
But then the basement door opens and the up comes another boy, along with two purring cats. I was certain everyone would sleep in this morning. We’re coming off the highest stressful day of the camp year when just about the time the little ones settle in with some breakfast, the rest of the boys tumble up the stairs. My tea is getting cold.
O, but the morning is yet young.
My husband, the man who provides me with phones and food to keep me fed, comes out to find the boys watching Babe and me holed up in the corner of the kitchen, typing on my phone because the computer froze up. I’m in the corner, charging by the outlet, because my phone was barely holding out at two percent charged and I haven’t even written a single word on kindness yet.
God is writing the story for me.