I hear light taps. Then a man-voice at the bedroom door.
It takes me a minute to wake. Lonny's pulling me close. The house is cold so we're snuggled deep. Everything is soft and gray and then there's the man voice again.
This time I'm alarmed.
I breathe deep. "Come in," I say. I push the covers back and the cold rushes in. I can see, in a stripe of light from the hall, that Logan is carrying his little brother across the room. He's carried him from upstairs.
"Bad dream?" I ask.
Isaiah nods as Logan bends and settles him next to me. Isaiah presses in. His neck is sweet and warm. He smells of soap and sleep. He fits perfectly into me. Into us. In a moment I know that he's fallen asleep.
"Night," Logan says. "Love you."
"Love you, too," I say. Then he's gone. Out the door. Up the stairs. I can hear the creaks and moans of this old house.
This happens sometimes when Logan is home. Zay wakes and finds his way to Logan's room. Logan returns him to his own room and tucks him back in. Zay wakes again. Logan brings him down.
I'm tired, and in the dark, I can't see that it's my youngest boy I'm holding. I feel his warmth. His hair is fine and soft on my cheek. My arm rises and falls with his small chest.
It feels the same as it did years ago. I'm tired and it could be long ago. It could be the oldest boy. Feels the same. Smells the same. Fits the same. It could be any boy in between.
But he's the youngest, and for a moment I'm awake enough to panic. I'm awake enough to wonder just how much longer this sweetness can last.
I know how quickly the years move. They flowed fast from this little boy to the man-boy who carried him down.
It's a heartbeat.
A quiet pulse of time.
But the room is dark, and we are warm. There's even breath behind me and even breath curled in my arms.
I'm not going to worry.
I know that parenting is about preparing. It's a process of protecting then preparing then learning to let go.
But right now, I'm going to hold on.
I'm going to live in this moment.
And I'm holding on tight.
Help me Lord to live in the moment...to appreciate, without worry, the blessing of right now...