Getting Filled

We sat on the porch, the tall boy with his back to me. I was coming down with a terrible cold but the weather was warm and he was angry and so we just sat. Me staring out toward the street. Him, crumpled over in his chair, screaming with silence.

The young one played a few feet off, creating his own music of chatter while he blew bubbles and decorated plants with them.

I watched. Both of them.

It had been a hard week. A week filled with swings and misses. Too much homework, not enough sleep. Activities, events. Just too much for this tall boy. And not enough.

He had been grumpy for days–which was abnormal for him. He wore discontentment around all week and of course, showed it off spectacularly to the ones closest to him.

By Saturday he had had enough. I worried for him–is this who you are now? I wondered. So we sat there, not looking at one another and I knew in my heart I had to redeem this moment. I needed, for his sake and mine, to turn it around and bring him home.

I felt like I was trying to hold the ocean in my cracked, dripping hands. Too much. Not enough.

My initial words were met with silence but at least he stayed glued to his seat. I could tell he was listening.

Thank God for the silliness of the youngest. It was a nice backdrop, the loud voice and the delicate bubbles.

Then I started again, cautiously, with the easy stuff. This reminds me of the time…Does it remind you of that too? Do you remember when we went…? I remember how we laughed….Slowly, slowly, introducing him back into our family.

Holding tightly to the salt water in my hands. Losing less and less as the moments crept by.

Finally. Finally.

The moment came. He turned in his seat. Instead of his back, his profile. We both began watching the youngest send bubbles into the sky and we slowly began talking. Talking about things of little importance which then became the things of the utmost importance.

His favorite part of our town’s Lemonade Days. Soccer practice. Roasting marshmallows. The end of school countdown. Glorious summer.

As I sat in my seat, despite my feverish, aching body and the cough settling deep inside my chest, I felt relief. The week was disappearing as the sun was setting and my boy was getting filled up again in a quiet moment on our porch.

Enough.

I silently thanked God for the redemption. And I looked down at my hands, cradled in my lap. I was never–he was never–meant to hold the ocean in them all alone. Sometimes we are meant to sit quietly, watch bubbles and just wait for them to be filled.