"Mom," Samuel says as I peer around the corner. "Don't worry. It's just me."
He's wearing jammies, too. And his Bible is tucked under his arm. He quietly shuts the door and pads across the floor with summer-brown feet. "Just having my quiet time. Thought it would be nice. Out there on the porch."
Then he's gone.
When did he start having his own quiet time? I wonder, as I stand, my back against the closed door. I'm blessed, to know, in the deepest place. That's our job - to guide them in the Word and then into the Word. But it was just last summer that he'd followed me around. "Will you help me read through John?" he'd asked, over and over, through the house and through the days.
After dinner, first thing in the morning, how about at four o'clock, I'd said. We were already doing family devotions at noon. And there was laundry. The house. Meals. Friends. Dates. Summer days passing like whispers. And time to read through John with Sam? It never happened. Now he's on his own.
And I missed the blessing.
So I stand for a moment, back still pressed against old oak, thanking God for this boy's heart, but missing him a little, too. There were invitations for bike rides last summer ("We can go if we get up at six," he said). And he'd pulled the tattered, taped-together checkerboard from that closet in the hall.
Sometimes the sweetest, best things are swept away, lost in the currents of life.
But today is another chance, a clear, unwritten slate, and His mercies are fresh each morning. And I'm going to chase that mercy.
I walk out of the kitchen and into the day. The piled-up dishes and crumbs on the carpet can wait.
I'm going to find my boy.
And some sweet, intentional time.