Sunday, May 11, 2014

I Needed You

I needed you.
I needed you to wreck my world.
To yell into my quiet life,
and smear your sticky fingers on my windows,
to highlight how dirty they are anyway.
It was easy to be the perfect mother when there was no one talking back to me.
When my theoretical children showed off my parenting theories.

I needed you.
I needed you to struggle through sounding out r-a-t,
so the impatience could rise up in my chest,
and I would know I need my Father to be patient with me, too.
Because sometimes, the simple things in His Word
are the ones I'm stuck on, too.

I needed you.
I  needed you to come late into my life,
later than we wanted you,
after we knew we were failures.
A little gift of grace we couldn't earn.
A gifted miracle.

I needed you.
I needed you to stare up at the sky and shriek that you saw an airplane,
because I was too old to look up
and wonder at the impressiveness of flight until you reminded me.

I needed you.
I needed you to hold me while you sucked your fingers
and laid your head against my chest,
and sighed and fell asleep and drooled on me:
to watch your belly rise and fall with your sweet baby breaths.

I needed you.
I needed to learn to give,
and to pray,
and to hope the best for you when your spelling was atrocious,
and your writing was behind.
I see you in your future -- perfected in the things you practice doing now,
and I never saw anyone like that before you.
Love believes all things.

I needed you.
I needed your trust to teach me about trust;
your fears to help me to lay mine down;
your bickering so I would value peace.
In correcting you, I correct myself.

I needed you.
I needed to hear you laugh until you couldn't breathe;
I was serious, and you were carefree.
You taught me to laugh at myself.
To see the person with the sparkly eyes
behind the milk mustache, and the dirty clothes.

I needed you.
I needed you to forgive me for blaming you for taking what I lost myself.
To throw your short arms around my neck and kiss me
even though I got it wrong and made you cry.
You've borne with me, and taught me grace;
how families have to choose over and over again to love and to forgive,
because in being family, we have much to forgive each other for,
and we aren't always so lovable.
But we always need it, don't we?
And sometimes the one with the loudest voice needs the most gentle handling.

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