“I want Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle Little Star, Jesus, and God.” These are the four requests I get every night from my precious toddler. The last two are somewhat vague, but I know what they mean. I am his mother, after all. He wants “Jesus Loves Me”, “Jesus Loves the Little Children” or another spiritual song. I choose “Amazing Grace.” I am not sure why. Maybe I remember that the last time I sang this, he was peaceful and still. I sing one verse of the Row Your Boat and Twinkle Star. I run my fingers through his hair. He wants me to rub his little eyebrows and demonstrates with his chubby fingers…..I am well-versed at this, though. He has two much-older siblings.
I rub his eyebrows and sing “Amazing Grace.” I have to be honest …. it is not my favorite hymn (I do love hymns, though!). He seems to be transfixed, however. His turned-up nose is ever familiar. I sing the second verse and almost cannot finish….
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, his mercy reigns. Unending love…. amazing grace.
“Please,” I think. “I have to remember how his little ringlets feel in my fingers. I have to remember his chubby little hands in mine.” I cannot forget. I said twice before I would not forget and yet I did. The familiar curls, upturned nose, baby breath… this is not lost on me. Years ago I sang. I sang to another precious toddler boy, then a little princess girl. I breathed them in and hugged them tightly vowing not to forget. But years come. And years go. And now I cannot remember. My heart breaks while I struggle through the second verse. My heart breaks that I cannot remember. My heart soars. My heart soars because I have one more chance. One more chance to remember, one more chance not to take anything for granted. Not that I took my other babies for granted, but there always seemed to be plenty of time. And now that one is in college and the other is in high school…I’m concurrently proud and admittedly a little sad. It came and it went… all too quickly. But there are three reasons to be thankful. And I am.
All children are miracles…. but some are unexpected miracles. Four years ago this summer at “advanced” maternal age (in medical terms), I found out I was expecting. I was already going through health issues. It was a harrowing experience. I am constantly amazed that he is perfect…. in every way, just like my other two blessings are.