The note was simple. To the point. I found it under my pillow, first thing in the morning. It was written on lined paper, torn from a tablet, top edge feathered and frayed.
I am not feeling loved. No one has talked with me. For a long time.
Your Son, Samuel
P.S. Please do something about this.
Really? I blinked to clear my eyes. Then I read that note again.
I didn’t understand. We’d taken a family bike ride the day before. Up the river. Down the river. And we’d spent the evening in the pool floating on round, rubber tubes. How could Samuel feel neglected? We’d been hanging out all summer.
Later in the day, Sam was playing in the side yard. He had a short ladder propped against the tree. I walked over just as his hands were closing around the rungs.
“Hey, Sam,” I said. “Going for a climb?”
“Can we talk? About the note?”
“Sam, we’re together all the time. But you feel that no one talks with you. Can you help me understand?”
Sam’s arms dropped to his sides. He stepped back, into a glint of summer sun. “It’s just, Mom, that I mean, just me. Just you. Talking.”
Oh. It began to make sense. Sam needed some one-on-one. To be pulled from the pack. But I worried about how to squeeze one more thing in. How to cover one more need. It’s tough, sometimes, with a big family.
“What would make you feel loved, Samuel? What can we do?”
“Um. We could, maybe take a walk?”
Sam and I did take that walk, after dinner, along the river. The air was heavy and still but conversation was lively and light. Sam was still young enough to take my hand. The time blessed us both.
And later that night, when the kids were settled in bed and Lonny slept quietly beside me, it was time for more one-on-one. This time, just God and me. Lord, help me to meet the needs of all these boys. Give me the time and heart to listen. And please fill me with your Spirit, so I can take care of them.
And in the quiet of the night, I was peaceful. I knew He’d meet my needs. Because my pillow talk had been heard, too.