A paper that I wrote for school this past term. For my family. I love you guys!
He likes playing with cars and trucks. I like playing with my make-up and hair. He is still learning to dress himself. I am still learning to be thankful. If you were to get all the children in the world together, I’m sure he would be the happiest. I am happy, but I have a different load to bear than he does. I have bills and work and school. My world is big in comparison to his; but he lives in his world better than I do in mine. He gets bumps, scratches, and bruises all the time and doesn’t complain. I get a little paper cut and whine for hours. I like keeping things neat and clean but he likes to keep things messy. While he is supposedly sleeping I will vacuum up the evidence of the battle which he enacted that day. I often get to put him to bed while Mom and Dad go out for some time alone. I give him a bottle and tell him to pick out a couple books to read. He gets excited about books. I will turn the pages on a new adventure, and he will listen, ask questions, and sit on my lap in satisfaction.
On one particular night, I was having a hard time putting him to bed. Zeke, the two-year-old, was learning to sleep in a big-boy bed and he liked the idea of being in a bed of his very own, but, like any respectable two-year-old, he enjoyed the freedom of being able to leave said bed at any moment. I, however, would have enjoyed staying in the big, soft, warm bed for the whole night, but who am I to argue with a small boy on the necessities of sleep?
Just before leaving, Zeke’s mother had told me not to hesitate to discipline this unruly sinner for his faults and neglect of slumberhood. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The first time he got up I simply chided and berated him. There he stood, a smile splashed across his face, beaming with pride at his adventurous nature. He could get out of bed now. He didn’t have to deal with the annoyance of having to wait on Mom, or Dad, or (at the moment) an extremely short-tempered Aunt. I could not believe it. He smiled at me as if this was the most normal thing in the world, like we were two eager dogs about to go chasing after frisbees in the park under a sunny sky. The sun was not shining on my face. My face spoke shame. Shame on this little boy who thought he could get away with getting out of bed with just a smile ripening on his mouth. He slowly stopped smiling. He got the message. “Zeke, it’s time to go to bed. Please get back in bed and go to sleep.”
The little sinner, his game averted, was reluctantly marched back to his room. His head hung low and his shoulders slumped. After all, what else is a little boy to do at ten o’clock at night? Count the buzz lightyears on his pillow case? I sympathized with his predicament, but I also felt obliged to wield the authority given to me. No doubt, he would resist that authority, but I found a determination, a resolve, welling up within my soul to bring correction to my lost charge. So, to his room we marched.
The little warrior was put in bed under a warm blanket and a soft pillow was pushed under his head and I felt satisfied. Surely these circumstances will cause slumber to string it’s bow. He smiled at me, rolled over, and closed his eyes. Of course I thought about staying to confirm that he had in fact gone to sleep, but he was a two-year-old after all. How hard could it be to summon a nice happy dream to send you off to dreamland?
A slight tingle ran over my spine. A creak. I swallowed a sigh but couldn’t stop it completely. My eyes caught sight of a flash of bright blond hair and I knew: he had retreated from the bed—the object I had been putting my hopes in. I couldn’t understand this situation I was in. Well, I understood it, but was miffed that I found myself here.
And there he was, standing there beaming at me again. “Molly,” he said, “I don’t want to go to sleep.” That settled it. He was going to bed. Now. My small and large intestines quaked as I marched him to the bathroom. Once inside, it took one swat and then it was over. When it was done he didn’t cry or carry on. His little blue eyes grew big with question marks and surprise. He hadn’t thought I would do it either. He hadn’t realized I was the one in charge. We hugged and prayed, breathless from the ordeal. “Okay Zeke, it’s time to go to bed.” “Okay Molly.”
I didn’t hear from him the rest of the night, but I couldn’t stop my mind from rolling in tidal waves of anguish. Had I been too hard? Had I just lost a nephew? It was as if a piece of my heart had been stolen by this little two-year-old and I wouldn’t ever get it back. I was showing him my love by correcting him, but I had my doubts. I’ll always remember the moment the next day when those doubts were erased: Zeke put his little hands around my neck and gave me a hug.
We are quite the pair. He likes red. I like blue. He is a child and I am an adult, but he is sometimes wiser than I. He receives correction quickly. I drag my feet to the confession booth. He is a sinner who repents without delay. I am a sinner who repents slowly. Oh that I would like a little child become and receive correction quickly and thankfully.