This morning, I knocked at the children’s door. It was 6:10am – Five minutes to departure time!
“Quick! Quick! We have only five minutes left. You need to get ready for school”, I literally commanded.
He was wrapped in his towel, still dripping from his early morning bath. “Mum, I have a surprise for you”, he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
“What is it?” I quickly shot back trying to keep a calm tone but quite jittery at the ticking clock. In my mind I was thinking, Lord, no! Not now. We need to beat the slow traffic on the way to school. There is no time for surprises and lingering extended conversation.
He pulled out an old CD my friends and I recorded while at the university over 15 years ago
“It doesn’t have a scratch!” he proudly declared.
“Oh! Where did you get this?” I asked in surprise. He smiled back at me refusing to reveal his secret. Then, just as quickly, I took another quick look at the CD, put it away and switched back to what we referred to as “Quick! March!!” while we were growing up. Within 15 minutes I managed to ship him along with his sister out of the house, sending them off to school.
I carried on with my work and started on what was supposed to be a bible study but the scene played over and over again in my mind.
“I should have stopped! I should have stopped!”, I went on to scold myself quietly. Why on earth did I do that? I could see it was important to him. Why on earth didn’t I stop? So what if we are a few minutes late? Okay, even if we were an hour late because of the slow traffic, so what? The earth will make one full rotation around the sun every 24 hours and still spin about it’s axis 365 times a year. In other words, nothing earth shattering will happen.
I felt like I had missed a moment to connect with him and it wasn’t going to return. I set aside the bible and said a quiet prayer, “Lord, I know I have missed that moment. It was important to him. Please give me another opportunity. Amen.”
And the opportunity came. Before he left with the shuttle at the end of his school day, I asked to talk to him.
“How are you?” I asked.
“I am fine”, he responded.
“Did you like the CD?” he inquired. This time, I stopped. And with as much heart as possible, told him how surprised and happy I was. Also, given he is spending the weekend away from home I told him how much I would miss him. He walked away with a smile that beautifully wormed it’s way into my heart.
I was glad that this time, I STOPPED.
STOP! He needs you.