This morning my son headed for the car with his blankie in tow. I am forever having to check pockets and administer lie-detector tests to make sure my little darlings are not taking contraband to preschool under the disguise of “sharing items”.
“Moses, that is your blankie. Your blankie is for naptime, not school.”
“No, Mama, I am bringing it for sharing.”
Hmmm. Heard that one before.
“Ok, buddy, but it stays in your backpack until sharing time. Do you understand?”
“But I will snuggle it in the car.”
Score: Moses, 2. Mom, 0.
In support of the preschool teachers, I try to ask questions about a sharing item’s significance, helping my kiddos clarify why they have chosen a particular item to share. This also functions as a good litmus test for a sharing item’s worth. It has successfully ruled out everything from Barbie to Halloween candy. However, Sarah has become skilled in argumentation and anticipating the rebuttal. “This teeny, tiny scrap of paper is significant to me, Mom, because…” or “It is really important for me to share this necklace you don’t let me wear to school because…”
So as we drove, Moses snuggling with that soft, embossed, powder blue square edged in satin. I asked him what about his special blankie he was planning to share. I reminded him that I brought that blanket to him when we first met in Ethiopia. I told him about how I would spread it across my chest and he would bury his head as I fed him Cheerios and sang quietly in his ear. Those first memories of our time together are bittersweet. He was so scared. He had looked frantic, shoved into my arms as we loaded a bus to travel across town to the Embassy. He did not know me. But he had no choice but to come along. And so he snuggled. And ate. And listened. And eventually slept, his brain overwhelmed by stress. In the retelling today, I only shared that we had snuggled and sang and ate Cheerios.
“Let’s do that again!” He said.
And there is was before me again. God incarnate. Making sweet memory out of pain and loss. Recovering what only He can recover. Mending what only He can mend. Walking my sweet, brave son through the valley while he was sleeping. And bringing significance to the vestiges of our daily life.
“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” Psalm 130: 7